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Will anyone step forward to claim runaway bridal gown?

Dave Fodroczi (left) and Diane Odeen show off the wedding dress Odeen, Mike Thompson and Steve Schroeder found in the Kinnickinnic during the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust’s annual Kinni River Cleanup. They hope to reunite the dress with its rightful owner. (River Falls Journal photos by Gretta Stark)

Members of Kinnickinnic River Land Trust are searching for “The Bride of the Kinni,” as they’ve lightheartedly labeled a woman who may be missing a wedding dress that now hangs on the coat rack of KRLT’s office. The dress was found lodged in a beaver dam in the Kinnickinnic River Saturday, April 26, during annual Kinni River Cleanup. The dress finders were Diane Odeen, Mike Thompson and Steve Schroeder. They and KRLT executive director Dave Fodroczi say they’d like to find the dress’s rightful owner. Odeen, Thompson and Schroeder were shocked to find the dress half-submerged, trapped in a beaver’s dam. Odeen said the dress, found in its original plastic garment bag, looked like a white plastic bag trapped in a beaver dam. It took a team effort to free the dress from the dam. Thompson crawled out on the dam and used a stick to help free the dress. Schroeder pulled it to the safety of the river’s edge. “Probably the hanger was hooked on a branch underneath, so we had to pull it to get it out,” Odeen said. “Then (Schroeder) opened it up and held it up and said, ‘Look, it’s a wedding dress!’” Odeen said she and Thompson reacted with, “Really? Wait ‘till we tell Dave (Fodroczi)!” Fodroczi said it was the most unusual item found during this year’s cleanup. “A lot of those things that we find (during the cleanup), they’re kind of cast off in everyday life,” Fodroczi said. “Where a wedding dress is a once-in-a-lifetime item. So it is unusual. It is unique. It is a little bit mysterious.” The dress was first put into the trash pile. Later the group decided it was better to save the dress in case someone was looking for it. So Odeen pulled it out, took it home and washed it. “A wedding dress is a special thing,” Odeen said. “You could tell it was in fairly good shape and that it hadn’t been there long. It just seemed like a thing that if we could reunite it with its owner we ought to try.” Anyone who knows anything about the dress’s origin should call Fodroczi at 715-425-5738. For more on this story, see the May 15 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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