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Hawaii Trip 2012 Update 10.31.12

October 31, 2012

Good afternoon everyone,

This morning, Wednesday, October 31, 2012, in Circuit Court in Springfield, Missouri, during a bench trial, (no jury, but heard by a judge), we recieved a judgement on your behalf in the amount of $360,000.00 (plus court costs) against the tour operator, owner, and company, that was to provide services for our Hawaii trip 2012 but did not provide said services.  I was originally told that getting to this point in our case could take anywhere from 1 year to 2 years and our Attorney General’s Office, and their representatives, have gotten us this judgement in just over 6 months.

I have been VERY impressed with the two people who have been working our case here in the Springfield Office of the Missouri Attorney General (AG). After spending my entire professional career in the “education world” I have been used to getting information or making decisions immediately.  I have learned that when cases like ours go through the investigative process and then the legal process it takes much longer than I am used to.  I am sure you may have become just as frustsrated at times with how long things have taken concerning our case.  I continue to ask for your patience in this matter and when there is “news” of what is going on we are trying to get out the word to everyone as quickly as possible.  The next step in the process is now our case goes to the Financial Services Division of the AG’s Office (Jefferson City) which investigates and goes after the actual money, bank accounts, assetts, and so on. I do know that the Justice Department (FBI) are also investigating our case, we have one agent in Springfield, and the Main Office in Kansas City, doing that investigation. I do not know where or at what point their investigation is at this moment.  They do not provide much information but I’m sure that is normal standard operating procedure for them or so I am told.

When this all began we told everyone we would approach this situation in the following manner: 1) Seek legal assistance to get the money back…we began that process immediately and it is ongoing. 2) What do we do with the Band Seniors of 2012 and families…we gave them the option of going to Florida this past June or refunded their money still in the bank.  (those that went had a blast!), 3) What do we do with everyone else? We are in the process of organizaing a trip to Florida with performances at Disneyworld.  When we get things going for those who are choosing to go to Florida we will then begin the process of refunds for those who do not want to go.  Again, I ask for your patience.

To make sure we are able to stay in touch with those of you who were going on the Hawaii trip I am asking you to email me the following information: Name of the person going to Hawaii, mailing address, email address, cell number (for texts), and/or home phone number.  Please email me this information for each and every person who was going to Hawaii.  Example: Chris Church.  Address: 515 E. Jackson, Willard, MO 65781. Email: cchurch@willard.k12.mo.us. Cell # 123-456-1234. Home # 123-456-1234. (Yes, I made that up)

My actual email is cchurch@willard.k12.mo.us No one can give an exact timetable on our case (yes, that is frustrating) or when this will happen or when that will happen.  We will keep you updated as quickly as we get information that is pertinant to our case.  I personally want to thank you for your continued patience.

Chris

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