Dugard’s stepfather attends celebration at Horizon [video]
Carl Probyn, who watched kidnappers snatch his stepdaughter Jaycee Lee Dugard off their South Lake Tahoe street 18 years ago, was as incredulous as anyone when Dugard was found alive last month.
Yet having now absorbed the amazing news, Probyn is not in a rush to be reunited with the woman who was 11 when he last saw her.
“I’m in no hurry,” Probyn said Sunday during a fundraiser for Dugard at the Horizon Casino Resort. “I know she’s safe. I know she’s alive.”
Probyn’s sentiments seemed to be shared by the 100 or so people who gathered at the Horizon for the “Building New Bridges” benefit concert.
The Horizon convention center was festooned with pink balloons, and many attendees wore pink – a color that has come to symbolize the community’s support for Dugard.
A photo of Dugard as a child hung on the wall in several places. But none of the party-goers expressed frustration that Dugard herself was not there.
“It’s a horrible thing that happened,” Elk Grove resident George King said of Dugard’s years of captivity. “Your heart has to go out to her and her kids. These people need to be left alone to try to heal, if they ever can.”
Dugard, now 29 and the mother of two girls allegedly fathered by her captor, has been reunited with her mother, Terry Probyn, and her sister. Carl Probyn said the women and girls have been staying at an undisclosed location – and Dugard so far has not been located by the media.
To help keep Dugard out of the public eye, Probyn has been making a whirlwind of media appearances himself, including Geraldo Rivera’s show and “Good Morning America.”
The Southern California resident said he’s also been making himself available to the media as a form of repayment, for all the media efforts to locate Dugard after her abduction.
Despite the celebratory atmosphere at Sunday’s event, Probyn expressed bitterness that Dugard was held so long in captivity without law enforcement discovering her.
“It’s just like Keystone Cops,” Probyn said. “It’s just mind-boggling. It makes me sick to think what Jaycee went through.”
The “Building New Bridges” fundraiser was organized by Kathie Garcia and Fionn Lambert of Tahoe Beach & Ski Club, and was supported by donations from the Horizon, Harrah’s and Harveys, and Lakeside Inn and Casino.
The lineup of bands included The Movers, who reunited after a 15-year hiatus for the benefit. The Movers played a benefit show for Dugard’s family shortly after her kidnapping.
Garcia said she had hoped for a larger turnout, but was still pleased that funds were raised for Dugard and her family.
“The people who have come out have been so supportive – it’s wonderful,” Garcia said.
The Horizon fundraiser was one of two benefits for Dugard on Sunday. The Slow Rollers hosted a “Freedom Party” outside the Tudor Pub, also featuring several live bands.
Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe has set up a fund at Bank of the West to benefit Jaycee Lee Dugard and her family. Donations may be made to SISLTF/Jaycee Dugard Family Fund, c/o Bank of the West, 2161 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.
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