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Local organization trying to solve mystery of missing pumpkin

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Just days before Halloween, a local organization is trying to solve a mystery.

Who took the giant pumpkin?

People with The Center for Creating Opportunities are concerned that ahead of a big event, the missing pumpkin could make donations disappear too.

For years, the handmade wooden pumpkin was a fall festival staple for the organization -- which serves as a day activity center for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

“That’s pretty much the only way we had to advertise for our fall festival,” employee Angel Shelton said.

The pumpkin, which sat off of West Hanes Mill Road in Winston-Salem not only promoted the fall festival, a fundraiser to support the center’s activities, but it also helped support a local food bank.

“The past couple years we started taking donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank and that was how we advertised to bring the canned goods for admission,” co-owner Shanita Lovelace said.

“Now that the sign is gone, very few people will know what's going on Friday,” she added.

The pumpkin is described as being as large as three-and-a-half by five feet, and staff members say it would usually require two people to lift it.

For that reason, they believe it’s unlikely that it was blown away by wind, but rather someone intentionally took it.

Staff members are hoping to have the pumpkin returned soon.

“They can bring it back no questions asked,” Shelton said.

The incident was reported to the security company in the building.

The company tells FOX8 that it checked with the landlord and no one was ordered to remove it.

However, the security company also says it’s possible a transportation agency may have picked up the pumpkin because it was close to the road.

The fall festival is open to the public and will take place Friday, Oct. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Center for Creating Opportunities.