Arson Leaves Maverick...and Families in a Bind - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

01.05.07

Arson Leaves Maverick...and Families in a Bind

A local organization that provides to children when parents can't be there is in a bind right now. Investigators say someone torched nearly all of the Maverick Boys and Girls Club's vans it uses to transport kids to the club.

It was Wednesday night when NewsChannel 10 first told you about the blaze.

We've been staying on top of the probe ever since.

And this evening the Amarillo Fire Department tells us they continue to search for those responsible for setting fire to three of the club's four vans.

The loss of the vehicles means scores of kids have had to find other ways to provide for themselves after school.

NewsChannel 10's Blaire Arvin went to the club today and spoke with an organizer and a parent about how this tragedy has put a lot of folks in a tight spot.

Just imagine being one of these people who relies on this after school program every single day.

All of the sudden the vans are set ablaze... leaving about 100 local kids possibly without supervision, and that has parents and the club scrambling.

"We felt the impact immediately," says David Rodriguez, with the Maverick Boys & Girls Club.

The club... now bare compared to its usual operations.

Normally there are 160 kids here.

Now, about 70.

It's been a nightmare for some.

"It was kind of nerve wracking," says Sandra Booker.

Sandra Booker's two grandsons take a club van here everyday Monday through Friday.

Booker had to quickly change her plans after the arson.

"It was really hard because so many children come here so it was just really hard to scramble for me and for other arragnments also," she says.

It was also hard for her two grandchildren.

"They didn't understand it and they didn't understand why people would do such a thing you know," she says.

Fortunately, Booker had other family who could provide for the kids while she was at work.

But that hasn't been the case for everyone.

"Unfortunately some are left to an empty home and that's why our biggest concern is how do we get these kids back into our club," says Rodriguez.

Definitely problematic for a lot of people...

The club usually picks up kids from 15 local schools.

But they've only been able to get to seven after the blaze.

The club hopes to have operations back up and running back to normal by Monday.

The community is reaching out to the club after the tragedy...

Donations have been pouring in to help with the transportation dilemma.

Cal Farley's Boys Ranch has donated a 45-passenger bus as well as a 15 passenger van to the club.

It's also receiving three other 15-passenger buses from Panhandle Community Services.

if you would like to help out...

A benefit expense fund has been set up for the club.

You can make a donation at any Amarillo National Bank.

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