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Monday, March 10, 2008

Akron mom embezzles $12,000 from PTA

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 5:21 AM

When C-Notes heard that an Akron mom embezzled more than $12,000 from her PTA, we were stunned to say the least. Turns out that 45-year-old Katherine Delaney had been the treasurer of the Sam Salem Elementary PTA, where she’d been skimming cupcake money for years until a recent audit revealed her scheme. She was arrested by Akron police and charged with felony theft and forgery… But it wasn’t all that sad thieving that made our head spin. We were simply shocked to hear that an Akron PTA had so many Benjamins in the bank! That’s a lot of bake sales! So we called the National PTA in Washington to get the skinny on our local PTA’s wealth – and maybe pick up some fundraising pointers. For a small urban school, spokesman James Martinez says that Sam Salem does appear to be doing better than some. “There really isn’t a national average,” he says. “There are some PTAs in Hollywood that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. And there are some in very urban, not affluent neighborhoods that are lucky to raise a couple hundred dollars.” So how did Sam Salem find itself rolling in the cookie dough? Turns out, PTA moms are no longer the domestic goddesses they once were. “It’s kind of by our own means that we’ve been anointed with the whole bake sale thing,” Martinez says. “But actually, a lot of our PTAs are moving away from that, because of the healthy movement and they are much more innovative now.” Martinez says that PTA members are trading in their spatulas for champagne flutes, often holding silent auctions and soliciting businesses for sponsorships. He adds that the aggressive fundraising is necessary in a time when the government continues to cut funding to public schools. Where PTAs used to spend their money on field trips and guest speakers, they are now forced to help schools pay for desks, paper, lunch monitors, and sometimes teacher’s salaries. “It’s not your mom’s PTA anymore,” Martinez says. Nope. C-Notes mom would have never ripped off the cookie fund. – Denise Grollmus

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