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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.