Advertisement
  1. Business

A boy's lost stuffed tiger goes on an airport adventure

While separated from Owen Lake, Hobbes toured Tampa International and was photographed in various places, including the air control tower.
While separated from Owen Lake, Hobbes toured Tampa International and was photographed in various places, including the air control tower.
Published Jun. 17, 2015

TAMPA — Hobbes the stuffed tiger went on an adventure at Tampa International Airport.

The plush toy, which belongs to 6-year-old Owen Lake, was left behind in the Tampa airport as Owen and his family traveled to Houston recently for a family member's high school graduation. His mother, Amanda Lake, reached out to the airport when her son learned the toy was missing and became distraught.

"Hobbes is one of a kind. He was made by hand by his aunt who lives in Houston," Lake said.

Airport staff found the toy, then decided to take his rescue a step farther.

I brake for Bobo: Ever wonder about those lost toys by the side of the road? This mom went back for one. Nov. 4, 2002

Tony D'Aiuto, the airport operations center manager, took Hobbes on adventures all over the building. He photographed the stuffed animal at the air traffic control tower, indulging in some gelato, working out at the employee gym and hanging out with airport firefighters.

Hobbes even lounged at the Marriott pool and rode around on a luggage cart.

"I pitched this idea a couple of months ago after I saw a similar idea where someone took a stuffed lion around a museum," D'Aiuto said in a statement put out by the airport on Monday. He noted that the photos were taken during his lunch hour. "This seemed like the perfect opportunity."

D'Aiuto had a hardbound book made, thanks to a coupon code he had for Walgreens, and crafted a short story that explained Hobbes' airport adventure.

Owen was reunited with his toy when he and his family returned from Houston on a late-night flight Thursday. The toy was waiting for him, with the book, in the airport's lost and found.

Owen's mother was in tears when she saw the gift.

"When Owen asked for Hobbes on the plane, my husband and I looked at each other and our hearts sunk. We knew he was left behind," Lake said. "Owen really loves him. He's special, and we are so thankful for the airport and what they did."

Justine Griffin can be reached at jgriffin@tampabay.com. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. The 26-story JW Marriott hotel is rising across the street from the Marriott Water Street Hotel near Amalie Arena. [RICHARD DANIELSON | Times]
  2. This file photo shows a Pier 1 Imports store in Dallas. Pier 1 Imports is closing nearly half its 942 stores as it struggles to draw consumers and compete online. The home decor company said Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, it is closing up to 450 stores and will also shutter distribution centers. It didn't say where the store closures would occur, but it operates stores in the U.S. and Canada. Pier 1 also plans layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. [Donna McWilliam | Associated Press (2005)]
  3. [Getty Images]
  4. Express Parcel Service says is plans to shut down its operations at the Amazon distribution station at 9900 18th Street N in St. Petersburg, as well as in Tampa, Miami, Fort Myers and Palmetto. (Google street view)
  5. Adisa Dzudza-Sunjic, MD, (on left) and Carla J. Danesi, registered and licensed dietitian, have joined Access Health Care Physicians.
  6. The developers of Avalon Park West in Wesley Chapel are planning a $736 million downtown core to accompany nearly 2,700 residences and 355,000 square feet of commercial and office space in a walkable neighborhood. . As part of the deal, Pasco County will consider kicking  in a $33 million 30-year incentive, mostly a tax rebate to help with infrastructure costs.
  7. The ceremonial groundbreaking of Saint Leo University's Wellness Center was held Feb. 6. Pictured from left: Jon Akvan, project manager, JLL; Troy Powell, project manager, Creative Contractors; Melanie Storms, Saint Leo University senior vice president; Jose Caban, Saint Leo associate vice president of facilities management; Jeffrey D. Senese, Saint Leo president; Celine-Deon Palmer, student government union president; D. Dewey Mitchell, Saint Leo Board of Trustees chair; Alan Bomstein, CEO, Creative Contractors; and Joshua Bomstein, president, Creative Contractors.
  8. ByDesign Technologies, a Tampa-based company that provides business management tools for direct sellers, was acquired by Kansas firm Retail Success this week. Pictured is the Tampa skyline in 2019. [Times (2019)]
  9. The Related Group proposes to build two condominium towers, represented by the two buildings in the middle of this rendering, with 168 luxury condos on Bayshore Boulevard south of W Bay-to-Bay Boulevard in Tampa. In this rendering, the see-through figures represent the planned Aquatica condo project to the north and the existing Stovall on Bayshore condo tower to the south. (Rendering courtesy of the Related Group)
  10. Lumber is stacked at the Home Depot store in Londonderry, N.H. Don’t let your desire to upgrade your home downgrade your home's market value. Before you make a renovation fantasy a reality, consider whether the project will pay off when you're ready to sell. [Charles Krupa | Associated Press (2019]
  11. Amazon Prime trucks await their packages at Tampa International Airport. Times (2016)
  12. Matthew R. White, who ran a Tampa-based company, M.W. Global Futures, has pleaded guilty in federal court in the state of Washington to one count of wire fraud in connection with soliciting a total of $1.29 million from investors in Florida and Washington and misappropriating the funds from 2011 to 2018. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 10. [Dreamstime | TNS]
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement