Band Boosters treasurer embezzles thousands from Disney World trip fund, but the band plays on

cinderella castle in shadows, caution tape, warning sign
Credit: Disney, Canva

A group of high schoolers in Michigan were on their way to Disney World until they weren’t. But the community and the school rallied together to make sure the acts of one wouldn’t sully the trip for the group.

The Clinton High School Band had worked hard to raise money for a trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth, but the hopes and dreams of the band were dashed when it was discovered that a former Band Boosters treasurer had stolen tens of thousands of dollars from the Band Boosters monies which fund trips like the one to Disney World so the band can attend workshops and perform in downtown Orlando.

cinderella castle in black and white

Credit: Becky Burkett

RELATED: A Louisiana principal turned his school around, so Disney surprised him with a vacation to the parks 

Nanette Stewart, a former Band Boosters treasurer, admitted she took as much as $20,000 from the organization in a plea agreement, but an investigation into the Band Boosters’ financial records after “irregularities” were discovered by a forensic accountant. According to those findings, more than $100,000 was taken.

“We understand that for purposes of the plea, restitution obviously could be far greater than $20,000, but the plea is to no more than $20,000,” Lenawee County Circuit Judge Anna Marie Anzalone said.

Stewart has already repaid almost $19,000, and she is scheduled for sentencing this week.

But the best part of this story is that the band worked even harder to raise more funds so that their magical trip could still be a reality. The community also rallied around the Clinton High School Band, helping with fundraising and even making donations.

Casper says that all the missing funds that were to be used for the band’s Disney trip was replaced, thanks to the efforts of the band and the community.

“We have been fundraising like crazy,” Casper said. “Everything from concessions to sock sales, coffee sales, and we’ve had incredible large donations from more people than I can even name to help us out.”

“We’re a really perseverant community with incredible community members and a great band booster program and fantastic administration at our school, so I was never worried that we wouldn’t be able to make it happen,” he explained.

RELATED: Mom and family of 29 get the surprise of a lifetime from Mickey himself 

Casper says that because of all the band has been through recently, their trip to Disney World will be even more magical.

“To finally see it realized is really exciting for us.”

clinton high school bus to orlando

Credit: ABC13 Toledo

The band had a 20-hour drive to Orlando from Clinton High School, but something tells us they won’t mind the long drive one bit.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!