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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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5/12/2013 10:02:00 PM
Donations quadruple amount stolen from Prescott fundraiser
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Tom Leigh, general manager, and Tony Burris, assisstant manager at Captain Crossfit, say the money they raised for Prevent Child Abuse Arizona was stolen, but efforts have surpassed the fundraiserís total with help from boaters on a social media forum.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Tom Leigh, general manager, and Tony Burris, assisstant manager at Captain Crossfit, say the money they raised for Prevent Child Abuse Arizona was stolen, but efforts have surpassed the fundraiserís total with help from boaters on a social media forum.
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - When Captain CrossFit manager Tom Leigh realized the money from their fundraiser for Prevent Child Abuse Arizona was stolen, he said it was heartbreaking.

About 50 people, mostly law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and other members of the Prescott gym took part in two team challenges and a CrossFit workout on April 13 as part of the benefit, enjoyed lunch provided by BackBurner Family Restaurant, and bid on items in a silent auction.

"After the money went missing, I was shocked, angry, and all around disappointed with my fellow man," Leigh said. "I was beside myself that someone would purposefully steal from such a great cause."

Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, based in Prescott Valley, aims to prevent child abuse and neglect by focusing on new parents and partnering with many local agencies, including the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Lt. Tom Boelts said.

"It's a great organization, a nonprofit, and it helps children in our community so much," Captain CrossFit Assistant Manager Tony Burris said.

Around 3:30 p.m. on April 13, an employee of the Prescott gym counted the fundraiser money, and told Leigh it was in an envelope underneath the cash register, but when Burris checked, the money, cash register and cash drawer keys were missing, according to a Prescott Police report.

"Right then, Captain CrossFit wrote a check for $1,500 to Prevent Child Abuse Arizona to replace the amount stolen," Leigh said.

To vent his frustration with the situation, Leigh wrote about it on RiverDave'sPlace.com, a social media website for boat owners.

"Then something unexpected happened. They wanted to help," Leigh said.

Soon letters with checks and PayPal donations started streaming in to Captain CrossFit from more than 35 RiverDave'sPlace.com members across the country who donated an additional $5,478.42 to Prevent Child Abuse Arizona.

"This restored my faith in humanity," Leigh said. "People may not think that one person can make a difference, but they can. And when people work together they can do something amazing like this."

Dave Johnson, who runs RiverDave'sPlace.com, said members look for ways to help each other and this is only the latest way members have made a difference.

"A while back we had a guy who ended up out on the streets, and members fixed his car, found him a place to live and got him a job," Johnson said. "It's a good strong community."

Prevent Child Abuse Director of Finance and Operations Tina Vanderpool said they were so appreciative of Captain CrossFit's fundraiser and the generous donations by members of River Dave's Place.

"It was so wonderful to see people come together to support the children," Vanderpool said. "Its important for people to know that there are good people out there who make a real difference with their generosity.

"We greatly appreciate all of the work for the original event, and are humbled by the generosity of those who helped turn a tough situation into something good," Vanderpool said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: Hey To <<< God You Say? >>>

Hey to <<< God You Say? >>> There are no 'good people' just people who do good. There are no bad people either just people who do bad things. In this case we have good deeds done by people who saw the need and did something about it. Child abuse is sickening and needs to be highlighted through various organizations using whatever means to make this disgusting act public raising awareness so others can reach out and help and watch for signs of child abuse. It should NEVER hurt to be a child --- ever.

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Article comment by: Yes, God

Yes, God. Not religion. All things belong to Him ~ He works good through people. We are nothing more than His instruments here on earth. His hands blesses those who give and I give thanks for those who are willing to respond to His call in giving to others.

Again,thanks for caring for our children!

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: Fellow Crossfiter

The Crossfit community is tight with each other we like to have each others backs and surround our selves with good people. Doesn't surprise me one bit that others came to the assistance of Tom and Tony in raising the money back and then some.

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: God You Say?

God? Really? I don't see religion playing any part in this, just good people. If the money magically reappeared, I could understand your justification, but this is a story about the generosity of people trying to help a good cause. Give them some credit and leave god out of it.

Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013
Article comment by: Never Underestimate The Power of God's Mercy and Love

"What man meant for evil God meant for good."

Don't focus on the one (s) who partook of the goods but rather give Glory to God who has given back ~ and then some. :-} {Everything belongs to Him}.

Thanks for caring for our children!

Marianne Elizabeth Vangalio

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