A local business will help Indian Land High School after boosters were victims of theft.
Students and parents from the school worked concessions at the Carolina Panthers game Sept. 21 against the Pittsburgh Steelers to raise money for ILHS sports and other activities. Toward the end of the third quarter, an argument began in front of one station and a money bag was stolen as volunteers tried to alert stadium staff.
“One of (the Indian Land workers) went over to customer relations, which is what they’re supposed to do,” Indian Land High School Principal David Shamble said.
The bag that was stolen contained $1,700 in concession proceeds. The school is working out a settlement with the management company and will continue to provide volunteers for games. The school is evaluating money collection and other policies for volunteers during the game.
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Upon hearing what happened, the new Salsarita’s in Indian Land offered to make a $1,700 donation to the school and presented a check on Friday. The restaurant opened three days later and is holding a grand opening celebration this Friday with prizes and food specials.
“When I heard what happened to the students and parents, I knew we needed to do something to help,” said Yanira Castro, marketing director for Salsarita’s.
Castro said the decision wasn’t just marketing the new store. She is an Indian Land resident of seven years. Her son graduated from the high school last year and her daughter is a senior. Family members have helped at Panthers games.
“It was just the right thing to do,” she said.”
The school provides about 45 workers for home games. Students sell soft drinks, popcorn and similar concessions through the seating bowl and at concourse stands. Adults handle any concessions serving alcohol. Athletic and band boosters, along with some other groups including the middle school PTO, split the money each season based on hours worked.
The theft occurred as alcohol sales ceased, as they do at each game once the third quarter ends. Shamble called the incident a “classic pickpocketing.”
A main fundraising aim is band uniforms. This year, the school bought 12-year-old uniforms from another school to replace the ones it purchased new in 1996.
“Our uniforms are older than the kids in the band,” Shamble said.
A full new set will cost $35,000. Boosters have been working the past six years, raising about $17,000 so far.
“That’s about half a year’s worth of funds in one night that was taken,” Shamble said.
Castro, whose business already partnered in fundraising efforts with elementary and middle school students in Indian Land, believes some good can come from what happened if the community responds.
“If we can even remind people about the needs the band has, more people may want to help,” she said. “It’s a great way to pull the community together.”
Anyone with information on the theft is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.