COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM)-When bronze is melted down, it goes for about four dollars a pound.
When a bronze statue was stolen at Children's Square U.S.A. in Council Bluffs, charity workers knew that someone had stolen something priceless.
"It didn't even dawn on us that someone would come in and steal the statue," said Mike Barker.
The ‘Jason' sculpture was created after a photo was taken of a boy named Jason was playing in Children's Square in the 1980s. Since then, it has become an icon and symbol for the charity. The statue is even recreated in miniature and handed out during Children's Square's annual fundraiser.
The original Jason sculpture had been near the welcome center since 1991. It was stolen in November 2011, and all that was left was the foot.
"Every day I come to work, you look where that Jason statue was, but it's kind of a sense of loss," said Barker.
When the statue was stolen, Barker and his team turned to the original sculptor-Tom Palmerton. Palmerton had retired, and no longer had the mold of the sculpture.
Barker said even the kids fought to help bring Jason back. "They put together missing posters for Jason-saying we miss our Jason-come back."
Tom's son, Mark, took up his father's tools, and tackled the task of recreating Jason. "It was very sad," said Palmerton.
Palmerton said he had to recreate the mold using the small version of the statue. "We put clay on it," said Palmerton. "We wanted to make it look as much as possible like my dads."
It took Palmerton six months to recreate the new statue; an amount of time Barker said he'd wait. "I think once that statue gets up we'll feel more whole again, more complete."
Barker said they've increased security, including adding lights and cameras, around the area. He said they plan to put Jason back up in the garden this summer.
Barker said the stood for happiness and youth-and that he can't wait to see it stand again.
So far, Barker said they've raised $4,000 to help cover the cost. If you'd like to help out Children's Square, click here.