Thousands in fundraising money stolen from Waipahu football team

A football team’s hard work is gone after someone stole thousands of dollars worth of fundraising money.

Waipahu High School sent a letter home to parents Thursday, informing them that the money was taken and police are now investigating.

Regina Wall says her husband attended Thursday’s meeting, where school officials told parents that someone stole the football team’s fundraising money.

“I was thinking before dropping off my boy, thinking to myself like, how can this person just take that money?” Wall said.

“I was really mad. Like all the hard work that we did, I was really mad,” said Dason Santana, who plays on the Waipahu JV football team. “We put in a lot of work. We sold chocolates. It took a lot of time.”

The money raised was going toward an end-of-season banquet for players.

In a statement, principal Keith Hayashi said, “We are fully cooperating with the Honolulu Police Department during their ongoing investigation into this unfortunate incident. Parents have been notified and we are working with our Marauder Athletics community to address the situation.”

But parents say they still have questions, like how much was stolen? Who took the money?

We called HPD and learned no arrests have been made.

Police wouldn’t say how much was stolen, but the case is classified as second-degree theft, which could be up to, but less than $20,000.

“Anybody who says they’re not angry are not human,” said Richard Gonsales, a booster at the school. “I am angry, very, to see what they have done, and this is what they came out with.”

Gonsales said the fundraising money was a mix of cash and checks, and was stored at the school.

“I think they should have put it right away into a bank account and store it there until it’s ready to be used,” he said.

As the school and police investigate, players and parents are pleading for the money to be returned.

“Please, if you have a heart, give it back,” Wall said.

Santana says their coach, Bryson Carvalho, is now planning to pay for the banquet out of his own pocket.

“Can you please give back the money, because our coach paid a lot of money. It shows that our coach loves us,” Santana said.

The Department of Education is asking anyone who bought items from the World’s Finest Chocolates fundraiser, if you paid using a check, please call your bank to cancel it.

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