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Money was raised. Then stolen. And now, even more is flowing in for stabbing victims.

Andy Rosenbaum, owner of Boise CrossFit, was shocked and embarrassed when a thief stole the donation jar intended for victims of the July 30 mass stabbing Wylie Street Station Apartments. (Boise CrossFit)
Andy Rosenbaum, owner of Boise CrossFit, was shocked and embarrassed when a thief stole the donation jar intended for victims of the July 30 mass stabbing Wylie Street Station Apartments. (Boise CrossFit)

From the silk-purse-out-of-a-sow’s-ear-file:

Remember Boise CrossFit, the exercise business where owner Andy Rosenbaum held a fundraiser Saturday to benefit the victims of the mass stabbing at Boise’s Wylie Street Station Apartments?

Remember that his sweaty clientele raised about $2,000 to help the family of 3-year-old Ruya Kadir, who was killed in the June 30 attack, and the other injured and traumatized residents of the mostly-refugee complex?

Remember that the money was stolen in broad daylight, in a crime that was as brazen as it was heartbreaking?

Well, three days after the theft, the generous and the outraged who came in off the street (literally) to make up the loss have helped the Chinden Boulevard gym raise not $2,000, not $5,000, but $11,000 to distribute among the families of the six children and three adults who were stabbed.

“It’s kind of turned around for the better in that sense,” Rosenbaum said Tuesday. “I’ve had a gal come in with $10, and Ryan DeLuca, the founder of Bodybuilding.com, he came in with $4,000.

“There have been three more donations above $1,000, and I’m expecting at least one more,” he said. “I have people driving by saying, ‘Hey, I saw it on the news, and I want to donate,’ dropping off cash and checks. It’s pretty cool.”

Rosenbaum still finds it hard to believe that anyone would walk off with a donation jar filled with cash that was sitting in plain sight on his gym’s reception desk.

“At first, I thought it was a joke, ‘Where did you put it?’” he recounted. “If I would have seen someone holding that jar, it wouldn’t have crossed my mind that they were taking it. You’d think they were putting something in. That’s not the community we have. We’ve done fundraisers with cash jars multiple times. It’s never been a consideration.”

If you want people to donate, you can’t very well hide the donation jar. So there it was, on the counter. The fundraiser had a princess theme in honor of little Ruya, who was stabbed during her princess-themed third-birthday party. People were asked to donate $10 to join a particular workout.

The intent, Rosenbaum said, was to give a large amount to Bifituu Kadir, Ruya’s mother, and then distribute the rest to the other families. Rosenbaum’s mother donated $100. The workout gear company Lululemon donated some gift certificates. The money flowed in.

And then, in a five- or 10-minute window during the last workout heat, the realization struck. The jar wasn’t there anymore. First, Rosenbaum was surprised. Then shocked. Then embarrassed.

“I didn’t want to say, ‘Hey, I can’t find the jar’,” he recounted.

At first, Boise CrossFit announced that, if the money was returned, the business wouldn’t push authorities to prosecute. Nothing happened. So the Garden City police were called to investigate.

Rosenbaum said Tuesday that he hasn’t heard a progress report from the police department. A police spokesman did not respond to a Statesman request for comment.

“This was a pretty low thing to do,” he said. “You can’t excuse anyone’s action based on, ‘Well, I needed it, too.’ … They have my full support in prosecuting. Someone mentioned online, jokingly, ‘make them do CrossFit as punishment.’

“My reaction was, ‘You’re not welcome here. You’re not part of our community.’”


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