Volunteers for the booster club at a local high school are outraged and heartbroken after someone caused thousands of dollars in damage to fireworks that were supposed to be sold during a summer fundraiser.
Woodbridge High School band director Mark Carder says sometime between 9 p.m. on Monday night and 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, vandals kicked in the door to a fireworks stand.
The stand is staffed through the summer by parent and student volunteers. They raise money for the school band's booster organization.
"They're out here in hot weather selling fireworks and trying to raise money, giving up their own time in the evenings and late afternoons. To come in and see it Tuesday morning was degrading," says Carder.
After finding the fireworks stand empty, the vandals then busted into a nearby trailer and stole $2,500 worth of fireworks. The Prince William County Police believe they caused another $5,000 in damage by dumping bleach on most of the remaining boxes.
Janine Wohlrab, a booster parent, says it's just mean: "That was the first word that came to my mind - just mean and disrespectful."
The boosters have been trying to raise about $50,000 to replace the band's 20-year-old band uniforms. More importantly, the annual fireworks sale is needed simply to keep the band program funded and to transport students to varsity away games and band competitions.
"Anyplace we go, we have to pay for the transportation to get there," says Carder. "And not only that, we have to pay for the equipment transportation too."
The burglary and vandalism happened about a week after summer vacation started, but administrators say they have no idea who would do this. Police say their investigation continues.
Meanwhile, the booster organization plans to salvage what they can and keep selling.