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Nonprofit’s computers, data stolen on eve of fundraiser

FRIDAY, AUG. 21, 2009, 5:33 P.M.

Information called ‘irreplaceable’

Three laptops and two computers containing irreplaceable data belonging to a small nonprofit agency were stolen overnight Thursday just as the group prepared for its largest annual fundraiser.

Charity donors pay for a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene and buy auction items for the benefit of Center Pointe, a United Way-funded group that offers social and recreational activities for people with disabilities.

The computers contained all the information about reservations and the auction items, said Spike Cunningham, executive director. The cruise, which is planned for Saturday, will go on as scheduled.

“Check out (of the auction items) won’t be easy,” Cunningham said. “We will be using paper and pencil.”

The theft in the 1400 block of North Washington occurred sometime Thursday night or early Friday, Cunningham said. But it wasn’t a break in. Someone had a key. “We do have insurance,” Cunningham said. “All of our equipment needed to be replaced anyway. It’s the data that’s irreplaceable,” he said. The data include submitted grants, donor lists, United Way applications, e-mail and mailing addresses, benefactors and promotional material.

From now on, “we are going to make sure we back up the data,” Cunningham said.

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