New system keeping track of funds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 21, 1998

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / March 21, 1998

LUTCHER – When Gus Figeac took the band director’s job at Lutcher High School in January 1997, he didn’t realize band booster club records included no receipts and its bank account contained very little money.

According to Figeac, the band booster records have been messed up for about seven years – seven years when at least four band directors were employed.

St. James School System officials noticed the problem recently and askedstate Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle to investigate. Kyle said last week hehad been contacted twice about looking into the matter.

Figeac said when he came on board at Lutcher there was just $4,000 in the band booster account, even though the group had been running the home and visitor’s side concession stands for several years. It was certainly notenough money for a booster club whose major purchase in four years was 90 windsuits at $35 to $40 a suit, Figeac said.

Figeac said including expenses, the boosters raise about $5,000 in profits a season just by running the home side concession stand at Lutcher’s football games. This doesn’t include the profits the group made years agowhen it operated the visitors’ side concession stand.

Figeac said he wants to make sure the money the boosters are raising now goes towards one thing – the students – to enhance the band. So he’s fullycooperating with school board administrators to find a fool-proof method in which money will not mysteriously disappear from the budget.

“I’ve turned over all the records I have received from the past president and the past administration to Mr. Rouyea, who is going to have themaudited and who realized they were all messed up,” Figeac said.

Clint Rouyea, the internal auditor for the school board, noticed the discrepancies over the summer when Figeac turned over the records.

Figeac said a system was already put into place last fall to keep track of funds the band booster club raised from running the concession stand.

The system works like this. The boosters sell tickets worth either 50cents or $1, which are in turn traded for concessions.

After the stand closes, three booster club members are responsible for the money raised in ticket sales and the tickets not sold. Figeac said thenumbers have to match.

To make sure everything is on the up and up, the sheriff’s office has gotten involved, Figeac said.

“We are escorted by the sheriff to the band room, where it is counted, and then they escort us to the bank,” Figeac said.

Figeac said so far the new method of keeping the band booster records has been a success.

“We have been extremely successful with our initial push towards changing things,” Figeac said. “We need to continue to get the supportfrom the community and businesses. Everything we are doing is 100percent for the kids since we have taken over.”

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