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Sept. 11 survivors dig for dinosaurs

Emily Anderson
Vail, CO Colorado
Mike Wamsley/Grand Junction Free PressMegan Manning, center, digs for dinosaur fossils with her two daughters Trinity, 7, left, and Mairead, 9 at Mygatt-Moore Quarry Tuesday. Manning and her daughters, who are from Long Island, N.Y., were part of trip for Sept. 11 survivors.
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GRAND JUNCTION ” While her friends dug for dinosaur bones, Alexis Perez searched for diamonds.

The 10-year-old and a dozen other children from New York and surrounding areas traveled to western Colorado this week for rafting, hiking and outdoor fun. Tuesday, they chipped away at Rabbit Valley Mygatt-Moore Quarry, hoping to find a souvenir from the Jurassic period.

It’s something a lot of these kids don’t get to do in the city. Or at least not without consequences.



“You can dig in New York ” you just get yelled at,” Perez said.

Tuesday’s Children, a nonprofit family service organization, brought Perez and her mother, Mary, on the trip. Like all other children on this trip, Alexis lost a parent in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.



The trip to Colorado is Tuesday’s Children’s first family trip. The organization helps children and families of Sept. 11 victims through mentorship programs, youth activities and college and career-preparedness programs. The organization will keep working until the last child of a Sept. 11 victim graduates college, said Tuesday’s Children Program Director Candy Cucharo.

Cucharo said companionship with kids with similar experiences is the most important part of Tuesday’s Children and this week’s trip. Gabrielle Scauso, 12, of Long Island agreed she and her group share a unique bond.

“They’re not like normal kids ” they’ve been through the same thing,” Scauso said.



Although the kids can relate to each other and often feel comfortable sharing their experiences with people that understand where they’re coming from, Scauso said she and her new friends usually talk about other topics than losing their parents on the same day.

“People think we talk about that a lot, but we talk about normal stuff,” she said.

Scauso and her mother, Janlyn, and 10-year-old sister, Juliet, had a good day Tuesday. The girls and their mother found a piece of dinosaur rib and a bone that would have connected a rib to a dinosaur’s back.

“I can’t believe I found a dinosaur bone,” Janlyn Scauso said. “I have this feeling of euphoria.”


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