High school dance team booster club claims money raised for trip missing

HOUSTON (FOX 26) — Members of the Heights High School Red Coats dance team are trying to keep their spirits high after learning that $15,000 of money they raised, and needed as their final payment towards a trip to Disney World, has gone missing. To make matters worse, they believe the treasurer of their booster club may have fled with the cash.

Maria Barron, the president of the booster club, is also a parent of one of the dancers. Barron says the booster club has a Chase bank account set up, and only the person appointed as treasurer has access to it. The funds in the account are used for uniforms, transportation, and other team expenses for the dance team.

The Red Coats earned the opportunity to perform at Disney World and take part in a master dance class. So far, the team has raised and paid more than $90,000. They did this through different fundraising events throughout the year.

Some of the parents also put their own money towards the fund, like Nelly Reyna. She tells Fox 26 she has paid almost $5,000 so that she and her daughter could go to Disney. “It’s just heartbreaking to be able to break that news to them, and share with them that there’s a big possibility that they will not be able to attend this event.” says Reyna.

Barron says they knew something was up when the final payment for the trip wasn't paid last week, and they couldn't get a hold of the treasurer. “She hasn’t communicated with us, she hasn’t respond to any of her emails, or text messages. Not to me, not to the director so we decided to go ahead and file a police report.” says Barron.

The team has until March th to come up with the final $15,000 payment or they won't be able to go to Disney, and they lose the $90,000 they already paid.

“It’s like heartbreaking, because it comes out of our pockets, our own pockets and we all did all these fundraisers so it was like it’s all for nothing.” says team member Alyssa Gongora.

Reyna tells Fox 26 “I think it’s just a lesson to learned, that not only for us as parents, but for other schools you know to be cautious about that because it does happen.” The parents are trying to keep the girls focused because they have a state competition this weekend. The Houston Police Department tells us that a report was filed today and they are investigating this incident.