The Buckley Youth Activity Center was broken into Aug. 15 and thieves made off with an estimated $800, plus $100 petty cash, that had been raised two-days before during a rummage sale.
The proceeds from the rummage sale had been earmarked to purchase food and new equipment for the center.
“I am saddened and disappointed that someone would be desperate enough to basically steal funds from the BYAC, that were going to be utilized to help the children that depend on this place to have meals and hang out here while their parents are at work,” newly-appointed Youth Activities Coordinator Will Foster said.
“There are other sources of funding to help under served or lower income families,” he added. “How do people sleep at night that rob food and happiness from kids? Kids don’t understand when you tell them that the center raised this money for you guys through that rummage sale, but someone stole it from us.”
Foster also was unhappy that a security company didn’t immediately repair a broken security system, despite several calls.
“When I left the safe behind that evening with all of that money in it, I had a bad feeling about doing so,” he said. “I figured I could trust people to at least respect our cause though, for the kid’s sake. Apparently, I was wrong in making such a bold assumption.”
Buckley Police Chief Jim Arsanto said that while the department doesn’t have any fresh leads, it was obvious that criminals had broken a large spotlight next to the building before shattering a window to gain access to the interior of the center.
“We’ve been talking about having the city’s IT people install several security cameras in the vicinity of the BYAC facility, because this isn’t the first break-in that has occurred there,” Arsanto said.
Foster said the youth center is undaunted in its ongoing mission to raise money. Since the first rummage sale was such a booming success, the center’s fundraising committee is already making plans to have another sale on Sept. 24. For information on how to make donations, contact Foster at 360-829-6534. Cash donations can be mailed to City Hall, in care of the Youth Center, at 933 Main St., Buckley, or hand delivered to the youth center at 251 S. River Ave.