Thief strikes memorial garden

A recent act of theft has riled Elk County Historical Society Director Mary Kalinowski.Three days after planting the Alyce J. Bowers Memorial Garden located in front of the Elk County Historical Society's Center House Museum at 109 Center Street in Ridgway an unknown actor(s) stole three Celosia flowers from the garden.The Celosia with its colorful flame-like flower head was a favorite of Alyce who passed away on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011 in the early morning. "This is the fourth year in a row somebody has stolen flowers out of that garden," Kalinowski said. "And the thing is, Alyce herself used to get so aggravated because she always had so many flowers, she would say, 'If they would just ask me I would give the flowers to them.'"According to Kalinowski, the act occurred late Tuesday night or into the early hours of Wednesday morning."It had to have been [Tuesday night] because when I left work [Tuesday] they were fine and when I came in [Wednesday] morning they were gone," Kalinowski said. "We got the flowers from Morning Glory Hill in St. Marys and we actually looked for those specific ones because she used to grow them herself by seed. We went out and looked for flowers she used to grow and we found them out there and that's what they took."I think it's terrible that someone would steal flowers out of a garden anyway, but then the article was just in the paper about it being a memorial garden. I would hope that they didn't know that it was a memorial garden when they stole them."Fortunately the Historical Society had three Celosias remaining to fill in the three holes."We did replace the flowers with what we had up there," Kalinowski said. "Now we don't have any more of that kind to replace, so if someone steals more we are going to have to put something different in there. Please leave our garden alone. It is a memorial garden."If anyone has any information concerning the incident please contact Society Director Mary Kalinowski at 776-1032 or the Ridgway Police Department.