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Monday, March 17, 2008

No pizzas, no fundraiser for 4-H clubs

By Donna Lenz Wright/The Week

Walworth County 4-H clubs are out over $15,000 after the pizzas they ordered for their annual fundraising drive were never delivered.

Just two days before the pizzas, candy and pies were supposed to arrive on Feb. 23, word came that the delivery would be late, according to Sally Morgan, Elkhorn 4-H general leader along with her husband, Dan.

Then, Morgan says, they heard nothing--no returned phone calls with the new delivery date--nothing.

"I called and called; it was just ring and then disconnect," Morgan said. "On Friday (March 7) Dan drove to Sheboygan and the place was closed down."

It came as a complete surprise to Walworth County 4-H clubs because they have been ordering through Piazza Pizza in Sheboygan successfully for the past nine years.

A representative of Piazza Pizza gave a presentation to the clubs, then called back after our January meeting telling me where to send the forms, according to Morgan.

"Then he just disappeared. I'm just sick about it. It's like a stab right to you."

"The thing is, he was not honest," said Kathy Arndt, Walworth County 4-H and youth development educator.

"He led people to believe everything was still coming. If he would have just told us the truth, I'm sure we would be more understanding."

The Week and several 4-H leaders and parents have tried to reach the representative with no success.

"He's not to be found," Arndt said. "The company is completely closed."

Fifteen of the 19 Walworth County 4-H clubs use this sale as their largest annual fund-raiser. Now they're scrambling to figure out how they'll fund their club activities, camps, gifts, sports, equipment, etc.

"Now that's not there, so it's going to be really hard on the individual clubs," Arndt says.

"That's who will suffer the most."

Some clubs have already reorganized and reordered through another pizza company. But because time is running out, other clubs have voted to have each family contribute what they can individually and work with what they have.

Refunds for most orders have already been returned.

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