Mount Zion show choirs' fundraising fallout settles

2013-05-22T00:01:00Z Mount Zion show choirs' fundraising fallout settlesBy RYAN VOYLES - H&R Staff Writer Herald-Review.com
May 22, 2013 12:01 am  • 

DECATUR — All is well with the all-female show choir groups at Mount Zion High School after a series of emails ended up creating some concern over their future.

Tensions heated this spring when school administrators decided to not allow Les Femmes to partner with Sound System, the junior high show choir group, to potentially fill a bingo slot at the new Galaxy Bingo Hall. Parents believed outside influences could have encouraged the administration to deny the partnership in an effort to harm the group.

The situation was aired at a recent Mount Zion school board meeting.

An examination of nearly 500 pages of emails between administrators at Mount Zion High School and boosters from the Les Femmes show choir group, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, showed a clearer picture of how the misunderstanding developed.

In the series of emails, administrators expressed concerns about high school groups operating bingo for a junior high group. There were also questions raised about the legality of that kind of structure.

“I can’t support a group using another group to start a new license,” Superintendent Travis Roundcount said.

Emails showed boosters from Les Femmes were approached in February by Galaxy Bingo Hall management about possibly running bingo when the business opens this summer. Les Femmes already has an agreement with Majestic Bingo Hall.

Roundcount initially told the boosters they were free to raise funds how they saw fit, so Les Femmes boosters spent months considering their options, which included staying with Majestic or possibly doing bingo at both bingo halls.

However, groups may carry only one bingo license in Illinois, so working at both halls was not an option.

To hold bingo at Galaxy, Les Femmes approached Sound System about a partnership to run bingo at the new hall. While initially supportive, some parents from Sound System emailed Roundcount to raise questions about how the agreement would require Sound System to completely restructure its board and the potential liabilities for the group.

rvoyles@herald-review.com|(217) 421-7985

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