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Final funding in place for Waukegan library statues

'Frog Prince Reading Book' is new sculptures installed StimsSculpture Garden Waukegan Library. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

"Frog Prince Reading Book" is a new sculptures installed at the Stimson Sculpture Garden at the Waukegan Library. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 8, 2013 6:24AM

WAUKEGAN — Three community residents have come forward to cover the final chunk of funding to replace statues that were stolen from in front of the Waukegan Public Library last spring and sold for scrap.

Library officials said Thursday that Elaine Manzke Eagon, Ann Hughes-Johnson and R. Vincent Johnson donated half of the $4,240 cost of “Frog Prince Reading Book,” a bronze sculpture that was installed in early November along the facility’s County Street courtyard.

“Frog Prince” was one of three new pieces intended to replace “Little Scholar” and “Imagine That,” two 12-year-old bronze sculptures originally valued at $15,085 that were stolen around May 31 by individuals who subsequently sold them for $268 at JB Metals, a scrapyard in Chicago.

The library received $14,000 in insurance funds following the thefts but was unable to purchase exact replacements because they had gone out of production. Instead, officials huddled with the families that donated the originals and decided to go with two benches with figurines called “Maxey and Me” and “Best Friends.”

Eagon’s donation to help with the “Frog Prince” purchase was made in honor of her husband, longtime Waukegan resident Paul H. Eagon, who passed away in October 2009.

Hughes-Johnson, a retired Waukegan High School teacher and former Waukegan Township trustee, teamed with her husband, R. Vincent Johnson, to honor Judge John L. Hughes, who served on the Lake County Circuit bench from 1959-86, and Jean Johnson.

According to a library official, a dedication ceremony involving the donors will be scheduled for the spring.

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