A bronze sculpture of children playing in the rain was stolen from the Easter Seals UCP Children's Center, the organization said.
The statue was taken sometime during the late evening Tuesday or early morning Wednesday. It was part of a flower garden that sits in front of the school on Marsh Road.
The organization said the statue, which was designed by local artist Jon Hair, was purchased for $50,000 and gifted to the Children's Center by Irwin Belk in 2002.
“This sculpture was a very special gift to the center and a welcome sight to children arriving to school each day. The sculpture is beloved by our organization and serves as inspiration for the children that attend our center," said Betsy Dailey, Easter Seals UCP community director. "The person or party responsible for taking this art piece would have needed unique tools to remove the sculpture from its base. With the help of the community and police, we hope that this meaningful art piece can be returned to our school as soon as possible."
Anyone with information about the stolen sculpture is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.