PHS Athletic Department warns of fundraising fraud

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Pelham High School Athletic Department is warning local businesses of possible fraudulent fundraising being conducted in the school’s name.

PHS Athletic Director Kim Kiel said the fraudulent fundraising likely has been occurring throughout the community for more than a year, and said businesses recently began contacting the school to inquire about donations made to representatives claiming to represent private fundraising firms.

“We want our businesses to know that we don’t coordinate with any outside fundraising company,” Kiel said. “All of our fundraising is done by our coaches, athletes and parents.”

Kiel said some local business owners reported donating money to someone claiming to be fundraising on behalf of the school, but said PHS has not received any of those donations.

Kiel said she has received at least one report of a person claiming to be with the “Advantage” company and soliciting donations in the school’s name.

“That’s just a name that we’ve heard,” Kiel said of Advantage.

Kiel encouraged anyone who questions the legitimacy of a fundraiser to contact her at 682-5503. All legitimate donations to the high school will be made out to Pelham High School or to the Pelham Athletic Assiciation, Kiel said.

“We are out there trying to raise money for the school, and we will go to those same businesses and they will say ‘We already donated $500 to you guys,’” Kiel said. “And we will say ‘You did? Where did it go?’”