Air Cadets fundraising after $100K goes missing; former committee treasurer charged

Parent volunteers with Red Deer’s Air Cadets squadron are scrambling to make up roughly $100,000 missing from their unit’s bank account.

Parent volunteers with Red Deer’s Air Cadets squadron are scrambling to make up roughly $100,000 missing from their unit’s bank account.

Leaders of the 24 Squadron Red Deer Air Cadets believe the money was lifted by a man who had been the treasurer of their fundraising committee for roughly two and a half years.

The squad, with an average complement of 45 cadets aged 12 to 18, operates with some funding from the Department of National Defence, which covers uniforms, officers and training costs. The Squadron Sponsoring Committee, made up of parent volunteers, raises roughly $60,000 annually for extras, including air cadet league fees, familiarization flights, trips, banquets and awards, band instruments, biathlon competition, sports days and other activities, public relations contact Damian LaGrange said on Monday.

Parents have been doing everything they can to cover the basics since May, when they first learned that their money had gone missing, said LaGrange. They have scaled back on expenses, including downgrading their annual banquet, while ramping up their fundraising activities to make up the lost cash, he said.

Committee chair Mike Goodwin said he does not know of any cadet who has felt a negative impact as a result of the loss.

“To the best of our knowledge no cadet has left because of this event. We have attempted to minimize the impact on the cadets,” Goodwin said on Monday.

Red Deer City RCMP have charged Dave Gillard, 44, with theft over $5,000 and uttering forged documents.

He is scheduled to appear at the Red Deer provincial court case management office on Aug. 31.

Gillard was committee treasurer for about two and a half years, said Goodwin.

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