Money from a three-day event promoting Spokane as a great place for kids and families was stolen Sunday afternoon when a thief took roughly $7,500 in gate receipts.
About 20,000 people visited the Family-a-Fair at the Spokane Convention and Ag Trade centers over the weekend. The event had 180 booths showing off local products and services for families and children in the Spokane area.
Parents paid a $2 admission, but kids got in for free to the carnival-like event that offered face painting, puppet shows and games.
The $7,532 that was stolen was destined for a scholarship fund for next year’s Family-a-Fair. Some nonprofit agencies can’t afford the $150 exhibitor fee the event charges, so Family-a-Fair gives them a scholarship, said Adie Goldberg-Yates, co-director and founder.
One-half to two-thirds of the 85 nonprofits at this year’s event received scholarships, she said. They included the Boy Scouts, the Eastern Washington Family Day Care Association and the Spokane Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
“We were closing down an incredibly successful weekend,” Goldberg-Yates said.
Then at 7 p.m., staff discovered the money missing from a locked ticket office inside the Ag Trade Center lobby.
“The only way someone could have gotten into it is to unlock the door because the lock isn’t broken,” Goldberg-Yates said.
The money - in small bills - was in two, clear-plastic Seafirst deposit bags with red lettering.
It was taken between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Goldberg-Yates said.
Police are investigating.
Goldberg-Yates said she and her staff didn’t have any leads as to who the culprit might be.
“We are hoping someone will have a good conscience and turn it in,” she said.
Anyone with information can call Crime Check at 456-2233.