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Oak Harbor students recoup stolen fundraiser money thanks to anonymous donor

Thanks to an anonymous donor, Oak Harbor Middle School students raising money for a band trip to California recouped their losses from a theft in late October.

When middle school band teacher Patrick Manuel came home Oct. 31, he found an envelope filled with $100 on his porch for the middle school band program’s efforts to pay for a trip to the Heritage Music Festival, which is a national student competition that takes place next spring in Anaheim, Calif.

The donation more than makes up for the $45 that an unidentified man stole from three middle school students Oct. 21. The students were selling candy bars in front of Walmart when a man described as being in his 40s asked the students to play their instruments. When the students started performing, he grabbed their money and ran away.

In addition to the anonymous donation, the Heritage Festival also offered a $100 credit on the $2,100 entry fee when festival officials learned of the news of the theft.

The band students has enjoyed some successful fundraisers to meet the $52,000 goal needed to cover the bill for approximately 60 students to perform in the competition. The band held a concert and dinner last month that raised $9,000 toward their goal. In addition Manuel said each student has also paid their own individual contribution. So far, more than $35,000 has been raised.

He said a meeting will take place this week to discuss the next fund raising steps. One possibility is working with the Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which may be putting on a “battle of the church choirs” competition.

For more information about making a donation, call Jones Accounting at 360-969-4664. Donations can be dropped off at Jones’, 1199 SE Dock St. in Oak Harbor. Make checks payable to the Oak Harbor Education Foundation and note the money is intended for the middle school band trip.

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