Thieves have cut short a community project started by two high school students to beautify the city they love.
The project, a massive chalkboard set up at Surrey Central's SkyTrain station where passerby's could sign and write their 2013 goals and messages, has been stolen just one week after it was set up by two students from Fraser Heights Secondary.
The brainchild of Grade 12 students Stephanie Song and John Lee, the board was thought out as a way to not only beautify the city, but to promote community spirit and vibrancy.
Funded by the City of Surrey's Beautification Grants program, the initiative consisted of a two-meter by one-meter board with chalk provided for members of the public to sign and complete the phrase, "2013 is my year to..."
"It was a project we had been working on to beautify our city and it was a huge success because the day after we set it up, it was already filled with signatures," said Song.
Hung at the bus loop at Surrey Central Station, the board had been up for just under a week before it mysteriously vanished overnight this past weekend.
"It was a huge board and lots of people were signing it and then one day it was just gone," said Song. "The strapping had been cut and the chalk is gone."
For Song and Lee, the board's disappearance has left them both sad and frustrated, as the initiative was ever only meant to promote community-mindedness.
"When other people come up and sign it, they might not know how much work was put into this and how much work youth did, it's not something the city did but students here in Surrey so that's frustrating," said Song. "We're trying to find it but it's been a few days but we haven't seen it anywhere."
Calls in to TransLink and the City of Surrey have yielded no clues for the students.
"We talked to them but they're also looking for it but we haven't heard back from them," said Song. "The board was supposed to be up for three weeks."
However, despite the setback, Song said the theft doesn't change her interest in hoping to change things for the better in Surrey.
"If you look at rec centres or (other public buildings), they're pretty boring on the outside, so why we started this to beautify things in our community," said Song. "The point was to make downtown Surrey more vibrant and to promote the community, cohesiveness and such and that hasn't changed."
Anyone with information on the missing board can either contact the City of Surrey, TransLink, or Song at firstname.lastname@example.org.