Donations help band booster club start 2017 off right

Donations help band booster club start 2017 off right

The first meeting of the new year for the Lumberton Band began with a “little change in the agenda,” club president Randy Eason said Jan. 3.

“Happy New Year, everyone; it’s been a good year so far,” Eason said, pausing for the audience’s laughter. “We have some special guests with us tonight.”

Those guests were Novrozsky’s and Wells Fargo, who both donated to the booster club to recoup losses discovered Oct. 20.

Wells Fargo staff from the Beaumont financial advisors and the Lumberton bank presented a $5,000 check from a national company grant, while Bill Carden and his district manager Mark Purks of Novrozsky’s presented a $1,140 check.

“I’ve been in this community for 22 years, and this community has been very good to me,” Carden said. “So Mark and I got together and decided to do a band booster night.”

Ten percent of Novrozsky’s sales all day went to the booster club.

“After hearing the news stories, we were very disheartened and concerned about what had happened, and decided to see if we could get Wells Fargo to step up and help,” said Carlton Butler, financial advisor with the Wells Fargo Advisors office in Beaumont. “I’m very pleased to see that Wells Fargo was very interested in helping and came up with the $5,000 grant.”

Wells Fargo has national grants that can be applied for, Butler explained.

“I’m very happy that we could help. Lumberton is a great community, and I’d love to see them be able to have a good recovery from this,” he said.

Butler said he had seen the theft reported in the media, but he also heard about it from a friend, Darren Etie, whose children were involved in the band and affected by the loss.

“We’re hoping that this contribution from Wells Fargo will not only get the band booster club up and running again but hopefully encourage others. I know there’s been a lot of community support over the last several weeks and hopefully this will continue.”

A former treasurer of the club told police she gambled away more than $70,000 from the Lumberton Band booster club account over a five-month period to “to relieve stress,” according to the probable cause affidavit for her arrest. Lumberton police took Helen Cox into custody Thursday, Dec. 1, and she’s charged with a third-degree felony, “misapplication of fiduciary property,” the charge for a theft between $30,000 and $150,000, punishable by two to 10 years in the state penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine.