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Hockey club keeps on going amid investigation

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WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- A police investigation continues after the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Booster Club said it's missing thousands of dollars.

It was first reported in August. Tonight, we're hearing from club members.

Police say the club reported possible money missing from their general checking account and trip account, with their records showing nearly $11,000 was gone.

But even with these financial concerns, the club is still going about its business.

As the seasons' second hockey game got underway on Friday evening, members of the Penguins Booster Club manned their usual table in the corner of the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

In an online statement, they say about going to the police that: "This was done after receiving a report from the former treasurer which did not agree with the bank statement received by the president. We normally do an internal audit at the end of every season, but we were unable to do so this year as the books have not been turned over to us. We then reached out to our bonding agency and a claim was initiated."

The booster club promotes local hockey by supporting players and their families. One member says a stop while leading a Boy Scout trip in Canada got her onto the sport.

"We went to a hockey game and I thought I'd never get those two hours back, and by the time I got out of there, I was in love with hockey, so we waited when they were gonna open up here," says immediate past president Kathy Thomas. "I've been a booster club member and a season ticket holder since day one."

"I started about three years later. I started coming to the games with my girls, and just loved coming to the games," says club president Vicki Silva. "It's a family event. Everybody that has a family should come to do it. It's not just guys coming here."

As for the missing money, during last month's meeting, the minutes say the new treasurer was: "unable to give the Treasurer's report as she still has not received the books from [the former treasurer]. All [she] received were some blank checkbooks. The last reports were for the General Acct. for July 31st. When [she] got the bank statement and went to compare it, that's when she noticed the discrepancy. The club has been trying to contact the former treasurer but to no avail."

Police are still investigating. The booster club meets on the second Mondays at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Hall, and their next meeting is Nov. 13. Dues are $15 per year and they organize events where they get to meet the players.


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