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Donors Help War Dancers Get Back On Their Feet

The Bonham High School Drill Team, the War Dancers are recovering after having nearly $5,000 embezzled from their account.
Bonham ISD
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The Bonham High School Drill Team, the War Dancers are recovering after having nearly $5,000 embezzled from their account.

After nearly $5,000 was embezzled from the Bonham High School Drill Team, the War Dancers have been fundraising to replace their stolen money according to Sherman-based KXII-TV.

On Sunday the drill team arrived at Glitzy Girlz Boutique in Sherman for what they thought was going to be a team outing.

They were completely unaware that the storeowner was planning to give them a $5,000 check to replace the amount originally embezzled from them.

“We’re all so blessed and our community really reached out and helped us in our time of need,” drill team member Rebecca Wilson later told KXII.

The owner of the boutique, Felicia Herron, said she’d seen how hard her best friend’s daughter had worked for fundraisers for her cheer team in years past. Therefore, when Herron saw KXII’s story a couple of weeks ago, she said she knew she had to do something about it.

“Immediately I thought of her, because I remember all of her fundraising and everything that she did and how hard she worked and I couldn’t imagine how these girls felt, and how defeated they felt,” Herron responded when asked by KXII.

Cyndi Lauterbach’s daughter is one of the drill team members, and said this brought something positive out of a negative situation.

"I think this shows them that no matter what happens, their community is going to stand behind them and they will rally and get them what they need," Lauterbach said.

"It's been hard but we've really shown through how strong we are," Wilson said.

The team still has several fundraisers coming up to pay for costumes and other items, including a corn-hole tournament at noon on Sat. Oct. 5 at the Fannin County Fair. They are still grateful for the donation, saying that it will help them get back on their feet. They’re also accepting donations to the Bonham War Dancers Booster Club account at the Fannin Bank.

The problems were discovered when checks bounced back and then booster club parents were notified the account was overdrawn. In total, with overdraft fees, money to make up for the declined checks, plus the thousands stolen by the former booster club president Tricia Hubbard, the War Dancers were out nearly $10,000.

"It was heartbreaking," said War Dancer Director Sara Nuncio.

That’s how she described the moment she learned the War Dancers’ account was overdrawn to KXII.

She went on to say the 20 girls on the ream raise every penny themselves.

"It's almost like a month straight where we do nothing but fundraising for these girls, so they work really, really hard for their money," Nuncio said.

Nuncio said the girls ask for sponsorships and donations from businesses, hold car washes, bake sales and face paintings over several months.

It's all to pay for uniforms, costumes, workout attire- everything.

"The girls work for it, you know, it's something that they put in effort for. So that makes it even worse," Nuncio said.

She said not only is their money taken away, but the drill team experience too.

"So when you don't get that performance feeling, then you really miss out on what drill team really means to them," Nuncio said.

Bonham Police said that Hubbard turned herself in shortly after everything was discovered. Bonham Police Detective Melanie Elliott said Hubbard used the funds for personal reasons.

"They were very specific to some utility bills, cellphone bills specifically," Elliott said to KXII.

Bank records also show that Hubbard wrote a cashier’s check for more than $3,000 to pay for her daughter’s mission trip.

Because she was the booster club president, she was in charge of the finances and the account was in her name.

Bonham ISD's superintendent said in a statement that booster club finances are not controlled by the district. The booster club has also decided that from now on to prevent similar problems in the future; three people will be needed to sign for the bank account.

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