Fund-raiser a bust for Yuma High group
Lawrence Lockhart of the World Famous Platters could barely hold back the tears after a recent performance at his alma mater, Yuma High School. Now it's the Yuma High club that sponsored the concert that has reason to cry.
On Valentine's Day at Snider Auditorium, the band, a imitation band of the original Platters, put on a two-hour performance filled with classic oldies and good humor. A portion of the proceeds from the concert were supposed to benefit Yuma High's American Field Service club, which works with foreign exchange students.
However, because ticket sales were seven short of the 500 guaranteed in the contract, which was drawn up by the band's management and signed by both parties, the World Famous Platters pocketed the more than $7,300 in ticket sales.
"One of the (band's) concerns is that they were coming from Branson, Mo., to Yuma and they needed to have a certain number of tickets sold in order to make the show go, and basically they set it at 500," explained Susie Alka, a Yuma High teacher who helped organize the event. "So they were completely within their rights to take the money."
The band also inadvertently took the soda concession money because it wasn't kept separate from the ticket money, Alka said. However, that money is being reimbursed, so at least the club isn't in the hole, she said.
"It's kind of a frustrating situation," she said. "People went to a lot of work, and a lot of expense to try to make it successful. Not to get anything out of it is kind of a hard lesson to learn. But nothing that (the band) did was illegal or unethical."
Alka attributes the disappointing turnout to the timing of the event.
"There was a lot going on in Yuma that weekend, and it just was a difficult thing," she said.
The World Famous Platters could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The American Field Service is a program in which participants go abroad and learn about other cultures by living with foreign families. The AFS has offices in 55 countries that have provided exchange opportunities for more than 250,000 students and teachers around the world.
Anyone wishing to assist the club can reach Alka at the high school, 782-1881, Ext. 215.