Businesses Rally Behind Band | News
River Valley businesses are donating money to the Southside High School band. Students were reportedly swindled out of more than a quarter million dollars after their travel agent admitted to “mishandling” the money.
“It’s beyond comprehension to think that this would even happen,” said Sean Carrier, assistant band director at Southside High School.
Andy Hearn, a former drummer at Southside, found out what happened and decided to help. “Just hearing what had happened just broke my heart,” he said.
Hearn now owns Grey Street Formal Wear. “We’re gonna donate $15 per tuxedo back towards the Southside band,” said Hearn.
Other local businesses followed suit. “Any case that they purchase here in the store we’re gonna donate $5 of that straight to the Southside band,” said Matt Dodd, an employee at Gadget Grave in Fort Smith.
Hearn says nine businesses total already agreed to contribute one way or another.
“It’s definitely important that we stick together as a community and help each other out,” said Dodd.
Carrier says if businesses can raise more than a quarter million dollars it would be nothing short of a miracle.
“It would be one of those things that you just can’t imagine happening, but maybe a once in a lifetime thing you see on television,” said Carrier.
Carrier says organizations in Hawaii also reached out to see what they can do to help.
The band planned an alternate trip to Orlando. The school contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office regarding the missing money. Those agencies are investigating.
For more coverage of the Southside Band’s travel agent trouble, click here.