Lexington nonprofit burglarized weeks before its biggest fundraiser

Lexington nonprofit burglarized weeks before its biggest fundraiser
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass said they think someone broke in over the weekend.

“Whenever our staff left on Friday, everything was normal,” said Afton Fairchild, interim president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass.

Fairchild said her team was planning to catalogue all of its silent auction items this week. Instead, they’re finding themselves in the middle of an investigation.

“I realized the bourbon the board members had been donating was missing, we had a lot of electronic items that were gone,” Fairchild said.

The suspected break-in resulted in the loss of thousands of dollars’ worth of items. They were all a part of the nonprofit’s 10 for $10 fundraiser.

The fundraiser runs Oct. 10-19. In person events were cancelled due to COVID-19, so this has become one of the charity’s biggest fundraisers.

“It’s a little upsetting that someone would decide to steal from an organization, any organization period, but the one that has an impact on kids, it’s a little upsetting,” said Larry Cash, a volunteer board member with the organization.

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children with mentors. Children can stay in the program until they’re 18. Fairfield said many of the children are on free or reduced lunch, some of their parents are incarcerated, and several are affected by drug addiction in some way.

The nonprofit’s original goal was to raise $15,000 from the silent auction alone, and they’re not giving up on meeting that.

“I don’t want us to see goals adjusted downward, I want to see it go upward,” Cash said.

Cash is calling on his friends and followers to help out.

“A couple of folks have already responded to donate some items back to the auction,” Cash said.

He’s meeting them at their offices to pick up bourbon, wine and more. BBBS is collecting alcohol, trips, experiences and services as big ticket items.

Cash and Fairchild said the real victims of the theft are the children they serve.

“The kids we serve come from all kinds of different backgrounds. That one common thread is they just need a little bit of extra support so that’s why we exist,” Fairchild said.

Fairchild said she’s working with Lexington police to find out who broke into the building. A spokesperson for the department said they plan to have an update on Friday.

Fairchild said the BBBS website is open for general donations at any time.

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