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Norwich — A fun spring fundraiser that helps pay for summer youth programs was dampened this week when a flock of 21 pink flamingos was stolen from a yard on upper Case Street sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Kaye Eyberse, coordinator for Norwich Youth and Family Services, said the agency notified police and put a plea on its Facebook page seeking the return of the flamingos to the Norwich Human Services office at 80 Broadway.
Angelo Callis, family therapist for Youth and Family Services, said the flamingo fundraiser has been very popular and successful for the past two years. This year, the agency has three flocks that are migrating through Norwich.
Donors pay $35 to have the flock placed in front of a home or willing business for about 24 hours. Teen volunteers and agency officials then come and move the flocks to their next location.
Callis said what makes the theft especially disappointing was that the stolen flock was being managed entirely by a group of youth volunteers with the Norwich Youth Action Council. They were in charge of coordinating the deliveries and relocation, he said. They discovered the birds missing when they went to the home to move them.
Youth Action Council member Raagan Wicken, who lives nearby on Case Street, said she called fellow members and asked if they had removed the birds. Wicken said only two birds remained and the signs describing the flock was in a garbage can.
“It’s unfortunate it happened, because it’s not only affecting us, but it hurts the children who need it,” said Aracely Reyes, 18. “We just want our flamingos back.”
The birds cost $6.95 per pair, putting the value of the stolen birds at $73.
Anyone wishing to contribute to replace the flock or help fund summer programs for Norwich Youth and Family Services can send a check made out to Norwich Youth and Family Services, 80 Broadway, Norwich CT 06360.