Local News

Lost Painting Generates Generous Donation

Posted June 14, 2004 2:36 a.m. EDT

— Some things have such sentimental value they are simply priceless. When a Wake County woman could not get back something extremely important to her, she called Five on Your Side's Monica Laliberte for help.

In the end, the company went way above and beyond the call of duty.

"I love it. It just looks like something I would have in my house," Lola Youngman said of a painting that should be hanging in her home.

It was the last painting done by a dear friend who died in January.

"She was just a wonderful person. She was kind of like a sister to me," Youngman said.

Several months after her friend's death, the woman's husband sent Youngman the painting.

"I was very honored and it just meant everything to me," she said.

Youngman took the painting to Michaels craft store in Raleigh's Brier Creek Shopping Center and paid $125 to get it framed. It was supposed to be ready just before Easter.

When Youngman called to check on the painting, she got bad news.

"They said, 'Well, we can't find it anywhere. We've lost it.' I just went crazy. I said, 'You lost it? You couldn't have lost it.' I told them the whole story and I was just very, very upset," Youngman said.

She called the manager, who offered her $250 compensation.

Youngman wanted the manager to do more to find her painting. She says the manager would not and Michaels corporate office did not return her phone calls or e-mail messages.

So she called Five on Your Side.

Five On Your Side called Michaels to ask if someone could look for the painting again.

Spokesman Tom Cleary checked into it. He says store staff did everything possible to find it. Then, another company representative called Youngman and offered a $1,000 donation to the cancer foundation formed in her friend's name.

"When I got that I felt like, 'OK, that's fair,'" she said.

Michaels is also refunding the $125 Youngman paid for framing. The company told her that chances are the painting was accidentally thrown away.