By Mary Owen
32nd annual Stayton High School
Booster Club benefit Dinner & Auction
Theme: ‘Saturday Night Cruise-In’
Stayton High School,
757 W. Locust St., Stayton
Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012
5:30 p.m. Doors Open & Silent Auction
6:15 p.m. Dinner served
7 p.m. Oral Auction
Tickets: $20 per person
includes admission and dinner
Tickets are available at
Stayton High School or
online at www.staytonevents.com
Proceeds benefit Stayton High
School Athletic Programs and
To assist with the auction or for auction
information contact Booster Club Auction
Chairwoman Kim Coates, 503-567-4501 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or see
the website: www.staytonboosters.org
The Stayton Booster Club is working hard to rebuild community trust in the wake of an investigation into missing funds from its treasury.
“We have put some safeguards in place and shored up policies and procedures,” Booster Club President Jodi Hack said.
“We will no longer allow one person to be in charge of any monies,” Hack added. “In addition, we’ve put two signers on our accounts, our taxes will be prepared by a licensed tax preparer, and we are in the process of hiring an outside bookkeeper to help with the books. We are also adopting new bylaws and putting them in place.”
In October, club members were shocked to learn of inconsistencies in its financial accounts. On Sept. 21, Dick Morley, completing his last term as secretary-treasurer, reported club funds of about $63,000 on hand. Then days later, the actual bank account showed $2,981.
The discrepancy is now under investigation by the Stayton Police Department and the Oregon Department of Justice.
In the wake of the financial discovery, Morley resigned without comment from the board of the North Santiam School District after serving 18 years, including several terms as chair.
“Mr. Morley has been a major presence in the community on behalf of our schools, and he has helped guide the district through challenges that would have deterred most other volunteers,” NSSD Superintendent Andy Gardner said.
Gardner also commended SBC officers for the steps they took once they became aware of the missing funds.
“The district wishes to emphasize that the Stayton Booster Club is a separate entity from the district,” Gardner said of the nonprofit group. “Unlike most school-related clubs, the Booster Club has its own bank account and manages its finances separately from the district.”
In an Oct. 26 press release, Gardner said he was confident that no taxpayer or student body funds were involved in the situation.
“This is definitely a wake-up call,” Hack said. “This isn’t over. When all is said and done, the person responsible for this will be held accountable.”
Hack said in a press conference a week after the funds were found missing that the Booster Club was offered a settlement on behalf of Morley by his attorney.
On the advice of their attorney, SBC officers are not speculating on the exact amount of money lost and are not offering to discuss the settlement offer.
With the matter in the hands of the police and state department of justice, Hack said the SBC board has turned to rebuilding trust and raising funds to replace the missing monies.
The booster club funds are used to provide equipment and scholarships for student athletes.
“The Stayton Booster Club is about kids, its focus being totally for the support and well-being of the student athletes at Stayton High School,” Hack said. “First and foremost, we have to be a good witness for our kids.”
Of rebuilding, she added, “This group is strong enough to make it right. There is no way to cover what was taken this year, but we’re hoping to provide for the rest of the year.”
With scholarships and year-end awards on the line, SBC is moving forward with its annual auction, scheduled for Jan. 21, Hack said.
“The community has always been extremely supportive of our auction,” she added. “We just need people to be more supportive than ever.”
Hack and other SBC officers expect the community to rally.
“We have heard some people say they’re coming who haven’t come in years,” she said. “We’re very touched with the support already shown.”
Hack is unsure of whether or not the club will undertake other projects this year to help fund scholarships, maintain athletic equipment, and provide student awards for the Class of 2012.
“The Stayton Booster Club has provided valuable assistance to Stayton High School students and programs for more than 30 years,” Gardner said.
“The school district is working with our high school staff and the current Booster Club officers to assess the impact of this new situation on projects that are funded by the Booster Club. To the extent possible, we want to prevent any disruption of essential services or programs for students.”