By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
A planned trip to Disney World may now be in jeopardy for members of the Bluefield High School marching band thanks to the harmful actions of a thief.
Someone broke into the concession stand at Mitchell Stadium over the weekend and got away with about $1,000 worth of food and drinks. The band had been actively raising funds as part of the concession sales throughout the summer and school year in order to finance a trip to Disney World in the spring. However, the weekend theft has now put that fundraising drive behind schedule, Candace Wilson, a member of the band boosters and wife of band director David Wilson, said.
“They took barbecue, hot dogs, pancake batter and they even took our banner,” Wilson said. “It was just food items, and a lot of Cokes. It was just mostly a mess. They left a pack of M&Ms by the door, which I guess they dropped.”
Only food items were stolen from the concession stand, according to Lt. G.W. Lightfoot of the Bluefield Police Department.
“We are working on it right now,” Lightfoot said of the investigation. “It (the police report) just says food, meat and grocery items were stolen. It says it happened over the weekend.”
Lightfoot said Officer J.D. Shrewsbury is investigating the theft.
Wilson said the loss probably wouldn't be covered by the city's insurance because the deductible was $1,000, which is the same amount of the estimated theft loss.
A padlock was apparently removed from the front door of the concession stand, according to Wilson. Wilson said no money is left at the concession stand.
Wilson said the weekend theft is a major setback to the fundraising campaign aimed at getting the band kids to Disney World.
“We didn't even get to take a trip last spring,” she said. “We've been to competitions, and we've got one more left. Those are things we obviously spend money on to help the kids. We've done very well at the competitions. We've won awards everywhere we went. They are really good kids. They are hard workers and they deserve a break. We love doing anything for the community and are really involved with it. We've worked really hard to raise funding for this trip. It's just really a kick in the teeth.”
Wilson said the band boosters may now have to turn to the community for help in recovering from the weekend theft.
“Donations are always welcomed,” she said. “They can send those to the high school if anyone wants to help us out. I don't know if anyone (involved in the weekend theft) would turn themselves in — I really don't know. But we are hoping to get plenty of support from the community.”
— Contact Charles Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org