Woman laments theft of statue

Marge Page wants the boy back.

She says she and the girl both miss him.

Last Wednesday morning, the 88-year-old walked out her front door on Via Verde near Crestview Country Club to water the flowers and noticed a deep hole in the ground where a sculpture of the junior golfer boy once stood.

She thinks it was taken sometime Tuesday night.

"If I would have known what time they took it, I would have stopped them," said Page, a Kansas Golf Hall of Fame inductee who helped establish the Wichita Junior Golf program.

She thinks more than one person was involved because it weighs several hundred pounds and stands more than 5 feet tall.

In 1996, Page commissioned Wichita tree sculptor Gino Salerno to create the boy and girl junior golfer sculptures, paying more than $3,500 apiece.

"I told him I wanted two junior golfers," Page said. "He didn't have much familiarity with golfers. I gave him a golf magazine and some idea of what kind of clothing and stuff to put on them."

The boy sculpture had a green shirt and cap. His pants were white and he held a golf club in his hands.

The girl sculpture has since been moved inside the family's locked entryway.

In 1972, Page helped establish the endowment that provides affordable lessons for nearly 900 youngsters each summer.

"During June and July, every Monday, any kid can play at public courses," Page said. "It costs them just $10 for eight sessions. They get the rules, private instruction from a golf pro and play what golf they are capable of. We furnish the equipment."

A conservative estimate is more than 26,000 Wichita children have taken part in the program, said Al Page, Marge's son.

"You have to keep reminding yourself that possessions aren't very important in the scheme of life, but particularly after 14 years of sitting there, you get attached to them," Marge Page said.

She considers the two junior golfer statues part of the family.

"They have enhanced my entryway," Page said. "They were decorated at Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. Santa. I had suits for them and everything."

If anyone sees the sculpture, they should call the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Department at 316-660-3900.