GREENE COUNTY (KDKA) — Two women are facing charges after more than $14,000 of fundraising money went missing from a booster organization for a local high school.
Melanie Coss and Chasity Ellsworth are accused of stealing an estimated $7,000 each from the Carmichaels Area High School marching band and chorus.
They served as the president and treasurer of the organization.
The students worked hard, as did their families, fundraising to support the marching band and chorus.
The kids were then disappointed and couldn’t understand why they didn’t have enough money to attend a trip to Kalahari Resort in Ohio.
It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime for the students.
“We try to give the kids in our community usually something they cannot do otherwise. Some of our kids have never been out of Greene County,” said Judy Armstrong, current president of Carmichaels Area Music Boosters.
Police say the money was taken from 2016 to 2018.
“It’s very disappointing. You trust people with things and you expect them to do the right thing,” Armstrong said.
Court paperwork indicates one woman would accept checks and undocumented cash while the other would hand the funds over to the other.
But the money wasn’t always deposited.
Court documents indicate unpaid invoices to Sarris Candy, as well as West Virginia Wesleyan University — where the students had attended a band camp.
By the time they were arraigned this week, more than $14,000 had been taken.
The boosters are their own entity, but all the kids involved attend the Carmichaels Area School District