A border of yellow caution tape surrounded the dance chimes at the Children’s League after an alleged weekend theft left just one tile.
SPRINGVILLE—When the Children’s League staff returned to work on July 28, after a successful Saturday night fundraising event, they discovered there had been vandalism at their playground. Eight out of nine bronze tiles were allegedly stolen from the dance chimes section of the playground, according to Christine Lewis, executive director of the Children’s League.
The Children’s League, formerly the League for the Handicapped, houses a unique playground centered around young children with special needs. The dance chimes are a set of 12 by 12 inch tiles that play different musical notes when they’re stepped on, creating a melody.
The missing tiles were discovered Monday, July 28 when the staff returned from the weekend. The League hosted their annual Night Under the Stars, on July 26, when the dance chimes were still intact, Lewis said.
“It’s devastating,” she said. “I don’t know why someone would steal from a children’s playground.”
Lewis said the police were contacted upon discovery of the missing chimes and the investigation is ongoing by the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.
The dance chimes were dedicated in the fall of 2009 in memory of Janet English and Dale Manchester. Manchester served as the attorney for the League for many years, Lewis said. His daughter, English, predeceased him, but lived an independent life although challenged by a developmental disability.
Lewis said it was his dream to have the dance chimes be a part of the playground.
“The chimes are enjoyed by the children everyday,” Lewis said. “For some of the children with significant developmental delays, the chimes are a part of their play ritual.”
Lewis also said she has contacted local scrap yards in hopes that someone tried to sell the tiles there. She is asking anyone with information to contact the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.