A local parent helped raise thousands of dollars for a North Andover school using an online service. But when it was time to cash in – she says that company wasn’t making the grade. Tonight, she’s giving Solve It 7 an “A+” for getting the money she was due. Brandon Gunnoe has the story.
A school cafeteria was transformed into a decorative dance hall.
And dozens of students and chaperones dressed up for two separate dances.
“I just wanted everyone to have a good time. The kids come in tons of energy, tons of excitement,” Kristian said.
Kristian volunteered to organize the event for the North Andover Thomson Elementary School PTO.
“Probably our biggest fundraiser for the year. It’s a big deal. I wanted to do a good job,” Kristian said.
The money helps pay for playground improvements and classroom supplies.
“Without a PTO kind of helping with some of the extras and the things that pull the community together, then you’re relying on the school budget alone, and we all know that the school budget is never going to be enough no matter where you are,” Kristian said.
Kristian sold tickets to the dances through an online ticket company.
“A parent or family member would go on and, you know, choose what they need for tickets, pay with their credit card, and then the money is essentially held for us,” Kristian said.
The events raised more than $17,000.
“I was so excited,” Kristian said.
In March, Kristian got an email from the ticket company saying:
“We strive to send funds collected… Within ten business days; however, please note that we are currently experiencing delays. You will receive an email notification when that payment is processed.”
“I said, ‘It’d be okay. If we just gotta wait a little bit, we just gotta wait a little bit,” Kristian said.
But April, May, and June went by — the school year ended, and the money never came.
“I started, definitely started to panic,” Kristian said.
Kristian says she emailed the company many times and just got auto-replies.
And when she called:
“It’s just a line that’s disconnected,” Kristian said.
When the new school year started in August, she still didn’t have the money. “I thought, ‘I’m never going to see this money. And how am I going to explain it to the school community?'”
Just when she was about to give the company a failing grade — she emailed Solve It 7.
“I never thought I would hear from you,” Kristian said.
When we contacted the company, we were told:
It is in the process of being acquired by another company — which will accelerate delayed payments.
And the Thomson Elementary School PTO’s payment was about to be paid.
“About six days from when I first reached out to you that we had the money. And unbelievable. Just unbelievable. Never thought I’d see the day,” Kristian said.
The PTO can now pay off the school’s playground renovation and fund other classroom projects.
“Thank you so much. I mean, I’m just so incredibly thankful that you were willing to work with us and take a chance on us and help us get this money for the kids and the staff at Thomson,” Kristian said.
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