New York. Tuesday, January 2, 2002.
Kerri’s flight from Florida touched down at La Guardia at 2:30 P.M. It was clear and cold. Temperature near freezing. She retrieved her bags, then hurried outside to catch a taxi. She glanced at a newsstand and the headline of The New York Tribune immediately caught her eye. She moved closer to the stand to confirm what she thought she had seen. She picked up a copy and read the headline, “WHO IS THE IACARDI SANTA CLAUS? ESTATES OF IACARDI EMPLOYEES RECEIVE HUGE CHECKS. What started with an anonymous call to our news room, has now cascaded into an avalanche of information confirming that a large number of the estates of Iacardi & Sons employees who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September eleventh have recently received enormous checks from an anonymous donor. The checks, in the form of bank drafts from Liechtensteinische Comco AG, a large Geneva, Switzerland bank, are for an amount exceeding one million, four hundred thousand dollars. While our sources have speculated that similar checks have been received by the estates of all three hundred and thirty-eight Iacardi employees who died, we have yet to confirm. Our staff is making every effort to to contact representatives of all of the estates. Efforts to contact senior executives of the company have so far been unsuccessful.”
The article went on to recount, in considerable detail, the horrible events at The World Trade center on September eleventh, the near decimation of Iacardi & Sons in the collapse of The South Tower, and the public vow of Kerri King, the company’s president to rebuild the company.
Kerri smiled, delighted that the money for which she, Karen and her father had paid a very high price, had at last gone to a worthy cause. She no longer cared about the consequences of what she had done. What mattered to her most was that the families of the deceased Iacardi employees now had money with which to continue their lives with the dignity they deserved. She removed her cell phone from her black winter coat and dialed her father’s number. “Where are you?” she asked.
“Karen and I just landed at Pearson a half an hour ago. We’re going through customs as I speak. Are you in New York?”
“I just got here and just picked up a newspaper. Good news, dad. That item you told me you never wanted to see again has finally been put to good use. I don’t want to go into any more detail, so I hope you know what I’m saying.”
Kerri’s news hit Mike like he had just won a lottery. At long last he had closure. His daughter had given away the last vestige of the fruits of Jim Servito’s crimes, for which he had almost lost his business, his love, and his life, and for which he had gone to prison. “I know exactly what you’re saying. I can’t tell you how happy I am. Keep your chin up, Kerri. You’ll get through this.”