Dad alleges funds pocketed from Elijah Wallace fundraiser

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The father of Elijah Wallace said it was an act of kindness gone bad. Aaron Wallace said After Shock nightclub in Grand Junction held two benefit nights for his son, Elijah, back in February. Now, more than three months later, Aaron said the owner has not given him any of the funds.

“He said, ‘I did it out of the kindness of my heart,’ but I think he did it just to get more money in his pocket,” Aaron said.

One of the benefits was a concert on February 2nd. Local singer Robbie Campbell’s band, AS IF, performed at the show. Campbell was devastated to learn none of the money has gone to the Wallace family.

“When we were asked to perform, we immediately jumped on it because we wanted to do everything we could to help,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to know there’s someone out there going to sleep at night knowing he stole money from a kid in need, that’s horrible.”

According to an email from After Shock, and a post on After Shock’s Facebook page advertising the event, a percentage of the proceeds from the 10 dollar tickets would go towards helping Elijah.

Campbell said the club also had donation jars on the stage and near the front door. He remembered looking at the donation jar on the stage after he finished performing and said there was a “substantial amount” of money in it.

KKCO 11 News’ calls to After Shock’s owner were not returned, and the number listed online for the club had been disconnected.

Heather Benjamin, public information officer for Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, said many instances of fraud are often civil cases, not criminal.

“A lot of times you come in agreements with people to do fundraisers and that can sometimes be a civil agreement and it can’t become a criminal act if it doesn’t work out the way you intended,” Benjamin said.

Unfortunately, many times, it can’t be certain whether your money is going where you think it is. Benjamin recommends only working with organizations you trust and doing research before giving money to a fundraiser. Check out the Better Business Bureau to check a company’s reputation and any previous complaints against the business.

As for Aaron, he said he doesn’t think he’ll recover the money but hopes justice will be served.

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