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John McEnaney’s summer vacation in Wisconsin with his grandparents covered a lot of territory, including a tour of Lambeau Field, a Brewers game at Miller Park and even a look inside the locker room in the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The only thing that was — and is — missing? His camera.

The 9-year-old from the Boston area lost it on Aug. 22 somewhere between doing the Lambeau Leap on the photo wall outside the stadium and getting in the car to leave. It’s filled with photos of his “9-year-old trip,” a Wisconsin tradition his grandparents have done for each of their grandsons when they turn 10. John bested his two older brothers by sneaking his in a year early.

There’s some big stuff on that little silver Samsung camera, starting with the fish he caught in Boulder Junction while visiting his great-aunt and uncle. Photos with Badgers men's hockey coach Tony Granato at the Kohl Center are on there, too, along with most of his photos from Lambeau.

His parents, Deb and Tom McEnaney, have reminded their fourth-grader that the vacation still happened and the memories are still here, even if the photos aren’t, but when you’re 9, that’s a tall order to get your head around. John, or “Coconut” as he’s called, gets teary-eyed when he thinks about it.

Deb had first reached out in a private message to what she thought was a Packers Nation Facebook group to see if anyone may have found the camera. When she didn’t receive any responses, she gave it one last shot with a public post on Facebook on Tuesday.

“Okay, this is a long shot ...” she wrote.

The comments came quickly, more than 700 of them. Her post has been shared more than 8,000 times.

Strangers 1,200 miles away have offered to pop over to Lambeau and check with lost and found or scour local thrift stores and pawn shops. One woman said she would keep an eye out for it when she was working at the stadium for the “Thursday Night Football” game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Somebody else shared it in Michigan, "in case it came over on the ferry."

“To me, the story is really the people of Wisconsin. It’s unbelievable to me that that many people would take time out of their day to share a picture and a story and try to help,” Deb said. “The comments are unbelievable. All positive.”

When the incident first happened a friend, a born-and-bred Boston guy, told her that if you have to lose something, Wisconsin is the place to do it because of the friendly people there.

“And then it’s coming true,” she said. “It’s shown in the action in front of our faces.”

John’s grandparents reported the camera missing to Lambeau Field the day of, and Deb has been in contact since to see if someone turned it in. No such luck.

John was doing the Lambeau Leap outside the stadium when his grandma took a photo of him with a phone. His grandpa was sitting on one of the walls near the Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi statues with a bag from the Packers Pro Shop and the camera next to him. When they got up to leave, they grabbed the bag but didn’t realize they forgot the camera until they got to the car. By the time they returned, it was gone.

It’s not the camera the McEnaneys care about. They would just like the memory card in it. Deb included a photo of John in her Facebook post in hopes he would be recognized on the memory card.

“He’s got bright blond hair and glasses. You can’t miss him,” she said.

You might be wondering if the McEnaneys are New England Patriots fans. They are. “Everybody hates the Patriots, so I’ll say that quietly,” Deb jokes. But her dad is a big Packers fan, and his grandsons in the North Shore of Massachusetts have Packers gear. They’re “closet Packers fans,” she said.

Deb, who is originally from Rockford, Illinois, grew up going to Wisconsin on vacation. The roll call of towns from across the state that checked in on Facebook to say it was shared there has been like a trip down memory lane, she said. Whether there’s a happy ending still ahead remains to be seen, but with or without the photos, it already feels like a win for their family.

“I hope it comes with that happy ending, but if not, there already is a happy ending, because there is so much good in this world, and especially in Wisconsin,” Deb said. “If it ends today, that’s the awesomeness for us is that we gave it a great effort and people responded and cared. And that’s the best lesson he could ever have.”

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Contact Kendra Meinert at 920-431-8347 or kmeinert@greenbay.gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KendraMeinert

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