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Police: Man Wipes Out Basketball Camp's Donation Fund

Reported by: Send eMail Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jun. 27, 2014 5:12 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 27, 2014 6:40 PM EDT

Basketball Camp Thief
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

A local basketball camp aimed at helping underprivileged kids have something fun and free to do in the summer has their donation account wiped out by a thief.

CJKB Infinity Sports Inc. runs solely on donations and had a little more than $2,000 ready to spend on the upcoming camp, but when their credit card was stolen, all of that was put in jeopardy.

In just a few weeks the court at the South Charleston Community Center will be bustling with bouncing basketballs and kids eager to learn.

"Without the help of the community, there's no way we would be able to do this," says co-founder Cierra Jones.

Jones helped found the camp in 2011. The group has just one goal: to provide a free basketball camp to kids in Charleston, especially those from low income families.

In just a few short years, they've watched their camp grow from just 45 kids to more than 100. Giving them free breakfast, lunch, and prizes.

"Basically what we're trying to do is give kids a fun environment, where they can also learn things, but it gets them off of the streets in Charleston," Jones said.

The camp had close to $2,500 in the bank. Jones accidentally left the debit card in an ATM and within seconds of her driving off, police say someone took full advantage.

A warrant has been issued by the Charleston Police department for the arrest of Brian Hall, 31, of Elkview. He will be charged with fraudulent use of a credit card. Police say he used the card to wipe out every single dollar from the camp's account.

"Your initial reaction is 'wow.' First off, this is for the kids. It doesn't affect me personally, you're doing this to the entire community of Charleston, and kids. It could be your little brother, your little sister, your next door neighbor. Really, I'm more disappointed in the person for taking from kids than from me and my organization," Jones said.

Jones vowed to the kids that the camp would go on. Thankfully, they were able to get the money reimbursed but they're still hoping for even more community support than every before, in hopes they can bounce back bigger and better.

They hope to one day turn their camp into a full-time program.

CJKB Infinity Sports Inc. 4th Annual Basketball Camp will be July 11th and 12th from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the South Charleston Community Center. It is free for boys and girls ages 7-15.

Kids will receive a free t-shirt, breakfast, lunch, and have a chance at prizes.

Campers can sign up at the King Center on Donnally Street, the South Charleston Community Center, Cookie Miller's Second Ave. Basketball League or e-mail infinitysports1@yahoo.com

The camp is also asking for donations of anything from money to hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, condiments or gifts to be given away as prizes. Checks can be made to CJKB Infinity Sports Inc. You can also e-mail the address for PayPal information.

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