The athletic booster club at Bishop Lynch High School is bemoaning the loss of $95,000, which was apparently stolen by an employee of the school. "We’re alleging that the money was embezzled," said a spokeswoman for the diocese in an article in the The Dallas Morning News.
Could Lake Highlands funds also be in jeopardy? The Lake Highlands High School Wildcat Club, much like the Bishop Lynch booster club, raises money to support the various athletic teams, including feeder schools LHFC, LHJH, and Forest Meadow. Booster club funds pay for equipment, scholarships, and other basic needs. There are also booster clubs for the Highlandette drill team, the Wildcat Wranglers, the marching band, the theater program, and other student groups at LHHS.
My opinion, after working with several of these groups, is that it won’t happen here. Lake Highlands has a long list of volunteers willing to do these jobs, so officers in these groups are carefully chosen. I don’t know about Lynch, but I know that at some schools parents have to be begged to do even the smallest jobs. We also tend to have highly qualified volunteers – often CPAs and MBAs – who are willing to keep the books and write the checks. This is also true of the LH area PTAs, including Forest Meadow – which earns thousands at its Market in the Meadow goldmine. It’s not like these records are kept on the back of a napkin.
What baffles me about the Lynch case is that the theft occured over a three year period. Our LH groups are audited regularly, so that parties not involved in keeping the books check them out, from the details to the big picture. Someone could steal money – that’s true of any account anywhere – but the theft would be discovered quickly enough to minimize the damage and attempt recovery. Luckily for Lynch, their insurance has repaid the booster club, and the kids are back to their competitions.