The manager of Oceanside Building Learning Together (OBLT) is stumped over the theft of a half-dozen tree stumps earmarked as decoration for a new childcare program.
Judi Malcolm, the manager, said six fir stumps, an arbutus branch and two doormats were stolen from the OBLT’s Munchkinland Exploration Centre in Parksville between Aug. 27 and Aug. 30.
They were first noticed missing by a member of the custodial staff on Monday (Aug. 30) and Malcolm assumes were likely stolen the weekend before.
The stumps and branch were designated for the organization’s new afterschool childcare program in Errington, where they would be used as seats or decorations to fit the program’s nature motif.
According to Malcolm, everything was kept right outside the front doors of Munchkinland for approximately six months, waiting to be transferred in September, when they suddenly vanished.
The wood was originally donated by a program family and, in the interim, had been used as a memorial for the 215 Indigenous children’s remains found in Kelowna this year.
Fortunately, the theft does not create any setbacks for the Errington program, as Malcolm confirmed another family would be donating and replacing the stumps before the program starts on Monday, Sept. 13.
“We are so fortunate that we have families that support us this way. And when we put out a little ask, there’s always somebody that steps forward.”