COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, March 8, 2016 – Fewer than 72 hours after being reported missing, “Lucky” the leprechaun has been returned to The Independence Center. Aside from a broken wheelchair handle, the seven-foot tall painted wooden leprechaun is unharmed. Thanks to the Colorado Springs community for being on the lookout, “Lucky” will again be part of The Independence Center’s display.
“Lucky” was preparing to take the spotlight on Saturday as part of The Independence Center’s St. Patrick’s Day parade float. He was being stored in employee Marie Bryan’s backyard. “Lucky” was constructed with help from Springs Rescue Mission and had debuted in the 2014 parade.
After reporting “Lucky” missing over the weekend, Bryan started a campaign calling local businesses near her home from where he had been stolen. She placed “missing” signs and knocked on doors of local businesses asking for people to keep their eyes out for “Lucky.”
“That’s one thing about Colorado Springs, is that we really have a huge sense of community here. We all have each other’s backs. Everyone was willing to look,” Bryan said of the effort to find the missing leprechaun.
Bryan even received a call from Colorado Sheet Metal Training Institute, offering to provide additional items for The Independence Center’s St. Patrick’s Day float.
“Lucky” isn’t an ordinary leprechaun. He is depicted as riding in a sky blue wheelchair. For this reason, Bryan is thankful for “Lucky” being found.
“It doesn’t matter if you are in a wheelchair; it doesn’t matter what type of disability you have. You can still get out and have fun and participate in things in your community. Participation in this parade is a big thing for consumers of The Independence Center. That’s why we got into the parade into the first place, because we’re not any different even though we may have disabilities,” Bryan said.
“I think having a leprechaun in a wheelchair demonstrates inclusion for all of us,” offered Patricia Yeager, CEO of The Independence Center.