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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Artist-designed trophies stolen from tumbling club

By Mary Vorsino
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Kari Schaap, Island Tumbling Gymnastics co-owner and head coach, points to the shelf where several trophies were stolen. The team hopes for the return of the trophies, which are designed by artist Kim Taylor Reece.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Three trophies designed by artist Kim Taylor Reece, each of which depicts a woman dancing hula, were stolen from the Island Tumblers Gymnastics facility in Waipi'o last weekend, and the gymnasts are asking for help in getting them back.

The trophies were believed stolen Saturday, when the facility was open.

Island Tumblers co-owner and head coach Kari Schaap thinks someone just walked in and snatched them. "They're displayed right when you walk in," Schaap said. She said one Reece-designed statue trophy was left behind in the center's open trophy case.

The foot-high, bronze-finished statues retail for upward of $140.

But Schaap said it's their "sentimental value" that's most important.

"These kids work all year to go in and win," she said, adding the gymnastics facility isn't looking to press charges. "We want them back, no questions asked."

The trophies were won in team gymnastics competitions in the last three years.

Schaap said teams of youth ages 8 to 17 won the three stolen trophies, which honor first- and second-place finishes. The statues were sitting on a trophy shelf near the facility's gym, and were alongside other more traditional-looking trophies.

The gymnastics center is in an industrial quarter of Waipi'o, where there's little foot traffic. Schaap doesn't remember seeing anyone suspicious near the facility Saturday, but she said she's almost certain whoever took the statues must have scoped out the trophy shelf first. Nothing else was taken, she said.

The theft of the trophies, the centerpieces of the facility's trophy case, was a downer for gymnasts at the center yesterday. They said the trophies were a big source of pride. "It's a real bummer," said gymnast Chloe Yester, 18, who was part of the team that won one of the trophies. "We worked really hard for them."

Anyone with information on the trophies is asked to call Schaap at 778-3954.