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.
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