A local high school booster club is upset after they said an out of state company stole sponsors away.
While we know this happens in any sort of business, the sponsors we spoke to tell us they thought they were supporting the school.
That’s when the booster club decided to Turn to Ten.
“I opened this huge envelope and was like wow this is a different format than I’m used to,” Sharon Roberts said, the owner of Christian Counseling in south Tampa.
Roberts is now also the proud owner of a poster with the Plant High School football schedule and an advertisement for her business.
“I was confused,” Roberts said.
Normally when she gets a call asking if she wants to advertise for the football team, which she has done for the past ten years, her business advertisement is in the Plant High’s game program.
“This year, our office manager got phone call asking, ‘Want to go with the same advertising as have in your past’ and we said of course, and we paid and then we got a calendar something we never got before,” Roberts said.
Roberts said she thought she was speaking to the school’s booster club, so she agreed to do a sponsorship with them again. She thought her money was going towards the school’s athletic needs.
Little did she know--the money wasn’t going to the school. It wasn’t even staying in the state. Her money went to a business in Texas.
Lisa Carvajal is a volunteer with the Plant High booster club and said she started to worry when she started calling last year’s sponsors to donate to this year’s program and they told her they thought they had already paid.
“In the end, those dollars could go and help our program,” Carvajal said.
So, who is contacting local businesses? It’s a print advertising company located in Texas.
The company sent us a statement saying:
“As I stated on the phone to you as well as what is posted on our website and emails, we are not affiliated with any school or professional sports team or organization unless otherwise expressed in writing. We are a promotional products distributor that specializes in community advertising. From crime awareness and fire prevention material for kids to custom community promotions like pens, calendars, coloring books, sports schedules, and safety magnets. We sell advertising space on numerous items and do not solicit sponsorships of any kind. As I mentioned to you earlier, neither I nor anyone else in our office has received any calls or complaints about this matter. We strive for 100 percent customer satisfaction, should anyone you speak of have any issues, all they have to do is simply give us a call and we will handle it. We always have handled it, however, if our customer doesn't call us we can’t do anything about it.”
For Roberts, she said it was a lesson for anyone donating to any school: Ask questions about where the money is going before you give.
The company in Texas said if sponsors are upset to call them and they will refund their money.
They also made a $1,000 donation to the booster club and promised not to contact businesses in the Plant High area again.
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