Adeline Bouchard was expecting a moving truck to arrive July 1 to pack up her furniture and belongings and take them to her new home in Georgia.
The 94-year-old World War II veteran called the Tribune office that day to thank the paper for its June 28 article about her struggle to make the move.
The story, “WWII vet seeks funds to relocate,” told of the Waunakee resident’s need for funds to make the move and of her service to her country in 1945-46.
On July 1, as Bouchard waited for the movers to arrive, she called the Tribune office to say she received “only a little” of funding she’d hoped for, but her daughter had agreed to fund the rest of the cost – the $1,700 quoted to her by the movers.
Waunakee Police Chief Kevin Plendl was at Bouchard’s apartment building the morning of July 2 to deliver much better news. An anonymous donor had come through with the remaining amount Bouchard originally estimated for the move – more than $2,000. Plendl called the Tribune that morning and said the donor wished to remain anonymous but was moved to donate by the Tribune story.
Yet Bouchard’s relocation hit another road block: The moving company refused to transport some of the furniture left to her by her parents.
According to Charlynn Johns at Battle Buddy Info, who initially contacted the Tribune about Bouchard’s plight, the movers were late.
“They showed up one day and four hours late and said, ‘We don’t move that stuff,’” Johns said.
Bouchard’s daughter had put down a $500 deposit, but the movers refused to refund it, and instead, her grandson rented a truck to make the move.
Still, others came forward to help out, sending funds to Bouchard’s Waunakee Post Office box. Johns had started a GoFundMe page for Bouchard, collecting $250 as of July 2, she told the Tribune. And others in the community showed up to help pack the rental truck.
Initially, brake problems slowed them down, Bouchard said. Then the vehicle’s air conditioning struggled to keep up with the 90-degree temperatures.
“We did stay in two motels on the way back because of problems the first day and the second day,” Bouchard said.
But on July 5, thanks to a caring Waunakee community and her family, Bouchard arrived at her new home closer to her family.
“Today, we are going to start unpacking all the stuff,” she told the Tribune Friday.