BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. - The Bay High School band is an award-winning group with an invitation to perform at Disney World. But as of last week, the 60 or so students that make up the Tiger Pride Marching Band had no money to travel for that trip because it was stolen.
"A lot of outrage from the local community,” said Michael Bell, “Some of the people can't believe something like that happened here."
Bay St. Louis Police say Kim Luxich, the Tiger Pride Booster Club treasurer, took around $12,000 from the band's account over the past year. She was arrested for embezzlement last week, and ever since then, a fast and furious effort has been underway to recoup the money, in one month, that the students had raised through candy sales, car washes and weekend store-performances over the summer. Dozens of local businesses are jumping on-board.
Joe Henderson, owner of Henderson Ford said, "Along with my employees and along with the community, I think everybody's stepping up and you really see the good come out of the bad."
Businesses in Bay St. Louis aren't the only ones trying to help the group. Local law enforcement and the fire department plans to stand on this corner in the heat to raise money, along with other organizations across Hancock County.
Bell, who is organizing some of the donation efforts, said, “I expected to see help, but to the degree we've had it, no. This has been kind of overwhelming."
The community is hoping their support not only sends the kids to Disney, but also sends a message that tough times can be overcome together.
The effort has raised around $6,000 so far. If you’d like to help the band re-collect the money, you can send donations to the Tiger Pride Booster Club Hancock Bank account, or to Bell Electric located at 909 Maple St. in Waveland, Miss. You’re asked to make any checks out to the Tiger Pride Booster Club. You can also participate in the band’s drink sale going on now.