SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A company that coordinates trips for school bands is working with the West Rowan Middle School band after detectives with the Rowan Sheriff's Office say the band boosters former treasurer stole near $15,000 of the money meant for an upcoming competition trip.
Chantel Racquelle Reliford, 32, of Statesville Boulevard, was charged with six counts of embezzlement of funds by public officer/servant. Reliford was jailed and released on $5000 bond.
According to the Rowan Sheriff's Office, other administrators with the booster club began noticing suspicious activity with the group's bank account and credit card. The activity was first noticed in September of last year, according to the report.
The investigation began when it was reported that the booster club could not account for $4000. The only people who had access to the money was the band director and Reliford.
WorldStrides is the Charlottesville, VA, based company that is coordinating the trip for the WRMS band. That company is now working to try and make sure that the band can make the trip.
"When we heard about the situation, we decided to help out," wrote Beth Campbell in an email to WBTV. "These kids worked so hard to fundraise and they deserve to compete! Our CEO is pledging to match all contributions to the GoFundMe account 2-to-1! I spoke to Amy (Mitchell) with the booster club just this morning to give her the news."
Amy Mitchell is hoping that the community will come forward to help the bad raise the money that was needed for a planned competition trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the efforts: https://www.gofundme.com/west-rowan-middle-school-bands
"We have a payment due, it was actually due January 11, which is the day we actually discovered the money was missing. We literally have ten days from today to make a payment of $9000 due," Mitchell said. "The biggest thing from the community, if I can ask for it, is prayers, to get through this and to move forward from this and not dwell on it."