TROY - A Troy resident on Saturday abandoned her plans to try to raise $220,000 via GoFundMe to pay for district sixth graders to go on an annual trip to Washington, D.C. after the agency organizing the trip closed abruptly.
Raychel Miramontes of Troy set up a GoFundMe account Friday hoping to raise the money to cover the cost of the trip, but ended the campaign Saturday after raising $1,700 and realizing how difficult it would be to make different arrangements for the original travel dates for Van Cleve school students.
“It sounds like it’s not as easy as just getting funds together,” Miramontes said.
She said she didn’t have a child at that school, but knew families who did and wanted to help.
In setting up the GoFundMe account, Miramontes wrote: “Such a sad situation, but the kids will really be the ones who suffer. I know it’s so soon, and a long shot, but maybe of we all pull together, we can help to still send them! It’s an unforgettable experience! Let’s do this for the kids!”
Troy schools’ Superintendent Eric Herman continued to work Saturday to sort out the situation and explore any possible options such as a trip at a later date. He said he planned to talk to more people and have more information Monday.
He said earlier Friday that 100 hotel room reservations for the 192 students and 58 adults planning to journey to Washington beginning May 20 were canceled because payment had not been made by tour organizer Discovery Tours, located in the Cleveland area.
The district received an email late Friday afternoon from Discovery Tours stating the business “has suspended its operations, effective immediately. All future trips are canceled. Further information will be provided when available.” Herman said the district also filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which also heard from other districts around the state, many in the Northeastern Ohio area.
Parents worked directly with the company on payment for the Troy trip, he said. Insurance was available but it was a choice for those paying if it was purchased. Herman said he was not sure of the coverage.
Between 10 and 15 parents had contacted him asking the school district to reimburse parents for the trip, he said.