Reward offer in ‘Wendy Rose’ statue beheading

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver business owner with personal ties to the “Wendy Rose” sculpture is offering a reward for the return of the sculpture’s head, which was reported missing on May 11. The amount of the reward is determined by the quality of the tip.

The grandmother of John Rudi was a “Wendy Welder,” a group of women who worked at the Kaiser Shipyard during WWII, which the sculpture honors.

Rudi also owns Thompson Metal Fab Inc., a metal fabrication company on the original Vancouver Kaiser Shipyard site.

John and his wife Michele Rudi originally donated $45,000 for the erection of the sculpture and the plaza where it stands on the Waterfront Renaissance Trail east of the Interstate 5 Bridge. The plaza is named the James and Joyce Harder Memorial Plaza after the family that started Thompson Metal Fab.

Someone stole part of the art piece: a scarf of red-and-white polka dot glass welded between metal. It topped the 10-foot-high, 1,000-pound statue.

The city of Vancouver contacted the artists, a group called the Women Who Weld, who estimated the replacement cost at $4,000.

Tips can be offered by calling the Vancouver Police tip line, 360-487-7399, even anonymously. Tips can also be made through Crime Stoppers of Oregon by texting 823HELP + your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or by calling the tip line at 503-823-4357. More information is also available on the Crime Stoppers website.