Sasha Yonak, 14-years-old, found a bottle with his neighbor Wayne Smith, at Bahia Marina on the bay in Ocean city, Md. Unable to find the two American women who set the bottle afloat with two $1 bills and a note saying “pass it on.” they did just that in the summer of 2019. On Jan. 5, 2022, Ciaran Marron and Rita Simmonds were vacationing in Donegal in northwestern Ireland and spotted the bottle while walking along the beach. After letting the paper in the bottle dry they read Sasha’s hand written note sharing where he lives, things he loves to do and the names of his three best friends – one of those being Wayne Smith. He included a phone number asking to “Please please call.” With the number out of service they contacted the Ocean City Newspaper. A local reporter’s friend knew Sasha’s parents. In a phone interview with the Washington Post his father, Vlad, explained it served as a salve amid an otherwise difficult time for the Yonyak family. Wayne had died in August at the age of 64 -- a loss Sasha and his family are still grappling with. He went on to explain Sasha and Wayne had many things in common, including an affinity for fishing, despite their five-decade age difference. “He was still grieving, and this brought back fond memories,” Simmonds said. “We think somehow Wayne had a part in bringing us all together.” Sasha and his family agreed. “This bottle reflects the friendship of Mr. Wayne and Sasha,” Yonyak said. “Mr. Wayne is no longer with us, but what he did with Sasha is. His deeds are living.”

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