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Willard H.S. band led by former 13 year Phantom staff member in the ne


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#1 laundryday

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

I wasn't sure what board to post this is. I heard this news this morning, this is terrible.
I am copying and pasting the story from this link, which has a video: http://www.ky3.com/n...0,6603660.story


WIILLARD, Mo. -- It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime for hundreds of Willard High School Band students, their families, and sponsors. Now the money they've paid toward their trip is missing, and the FBI is investigating.

"It's something that, as a senior, I've looked forward to all four years of high school," said Stephanie Lingenfelter.

Willard band students said they have worked hard practicing, attending competitions, and raising money for a Hawaii trip planned for this summer. Many of their families have been saving for years. Now the more than $500,000 they have raised is missing.

"We don't have a lot of news. That's the problem," said Willard School District Superintendent Kent Medlin.

Medlin said school leaders have been unable to reach Performing Hawaii Tours, the Hawaii-based travel agency planning their trip. Parents got the news on Wednesday night when their band director issued a letter saying the FBI and police are now investigating the company.


"I was in shock," said Kristie Vincent, a parent of two Willard band students.

Vincent said her entire family had paid in advance for the chance to travel with the band and watch them perform.

"I know a lot of parents made sacrifices so they could have their kids go on this great trip," Vincent said.

The contact number listed on the Performing Hawaii Tours website is disconnected. The Willard superintendent said the school used this same company in the past, and he said nothing like this has ever happened before.

"There's a harsh reality here that this trip is not going to occur like we had planned and therefore we're going to haveg to look at other plans," Medlin said.

Students and parents are banding together to try to find a solution.

"I'm trusting our band directors and our school administration to take care of it," Lingenfelter said.


Another school, Southside High School in Fort Smith, Ark., also planned a trip with Performing Hawaii Tours. School leaders there said they are also unable to reach the travel company, and the FBI is investigating their case as well.

Copyright 2012, KY3-TV


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#2 Ghost

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:49 AM

Not a good sitution. FBI probably already knows what flight(s) employees of this company have recently taken.
If you're not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by 35, you have no brain.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. BF

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#3 jjeffeory

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 10:15 AM

Way too harsh! This company likely took the money and ran, based upon the article. I will have to say, "Who knows?". I am inclined to believe the article though.

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#4 MisterA

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

So sad to hear. I sure hope they catch the people involved in the organization that ran off with those funds. Best wishes to all the students, staff, and families involved in this mess.

#5 mcjordansc

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:46 AM

Here is an article about another band that has lost $267,500.00 to the touring company.

The band had planned to come to Waikiki to participate in the Pan-Pacific Festival in early June, culminating in a parade down Kalakaua Avenue on the evening of June 10.

The director of the festival, Eric Ishizuka, told KITV4 that Saaga never registered the Southside Band to take part in any Pan-Pacific events.

"He never contacted us," said Ishizuka. "We never recommend travel agents to groups who take part."

A search of online business records shows Performing Hawaii Tours "is not in good standing" in the state of Hawaii. KITV4 reached out to Saaga by phone and email, but received no response.


No Hawaii trip after high school band gives $267,500 to local travel agent

#6 skajerk

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:04 PM

Here is an article about another band that has lost $267,500.00 to the touring company.

The band had planned to come to Waikiki to participate in the Pan-Pacific Festival in early June, culminating in a parade down Kalakaua Avenue on the evening of June 10.

The director of the festival, Eric Ishizuka, told KITV4 that Saaga never registered the Southside Band to take part in any Pan-Pacific events.

"He never contacted us," said Ishizuka. "We never recommend travel agents to groups who take part."

A search of online business records shows Performing Hawaii Tours "is not in good standing" in the state of Hawaii. KITV4 reached out to Saaga by phone and email, but received no response.


No Hawaii trip after high school band gives $267,500 to local travel agent

From the same article:


Carrier [the asst. band director] provided an email from Saaga that the tour operator apparently wrote on April 19. In the email, Saaga admitted he's now in Samoa and no longer has the band's money.

"I made some terrible decision (sic) with the money and am now in the midst of trying to sell every asset I have in Samoa to pay the group back," Saaga wrote. "It will be a slow process so I beg of your patience as my number one priority (is) to get every cent I owe to the group.


This is 2 bands that he owes money to. I wonder how many more there are.

Edited by skajerk, 27 April 2012 - 03:05 PM.

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#7 soccerguy315

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:12 PM

wow. heartbreaking for the kids.

I doubt they are going to get this money back, unless the guy is very rich in Samoa... the guy should spend a long time in jail, but that doesn't really help out the kids.
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#8 Ghost

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:31 PM

Not familiar with these types of trips but wonder if the bands also signed up for insurance.
If you're not a liberal by 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by 35, you have no brain.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. BF

Proper prior planning prevents pisss poor performance.

#9 TimbreDeBrass

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:21 PM

That's terrible, I wouldn't know what to do in that situation. Hopefully the FBI can take care of it.

*Disclaimer - my opinions are my own and independent from any corps that I've marched and do not reflect the opinions of either corps. 

 

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