By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Money for a fundraiser was taken out of a jar at Rick’s Smoke Shop around 3:30pm on Sunday, June 17. Rick Bird, owner, said that an “unknown, but substantial” amount was stolen from the jar.
The money was being raised to help with medical expenses for Kendra Arch, a six-year-old EBCI tribal member who has suffered with intestinal problems from birth. Arch has had several surgeries at Mission Hospital in Asheville to correct stomach issues, and the fundraisers have been to help fund an 8-week feeding program at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. The bill for that program will total over $68,000.
“It was sorry for them to steal from a kid,” said Kimberly Arch, Kendra’s mother, who was fighting back tears just thinking about the entire situation.
Bird said the person who stole the money was caught on a store security camera. He said the man took the money out of the jar while a clerk was in the back getting a cigar and then the man paid for the cigar with some of the stolen money.
“We’re going to make a $100 donation to help recover some of the money that was stolen,” said Bird. “If the man had asked, we help people all the time who are down on their luck.”
The Cherokee Indian Police Department was unable to be reached for comment on the status of the case.
If you have any information on this case, please call the Cherokee Indian Police Department at 497-3051.