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Disney loss becomes blessing

Molly Shore

A recent theft turned into a positive experience for the students,

teachers and administrative staff at Disney Elementary School.

Money was raised by Disney students in a Valentine’s Day candy


sale to buy supplies for their new creative arts center. When it was

stolen, the Burbank Police Officers Assn. and Burbank Fire Fighters

Local 778 joined forces with City Cab owner Scott Schaffer to replace

the $3,707 that was taken. A $500 contribution was also given by a


local person, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The money will be presented to the students at a special assembly

at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

“I’m glad that we could do this,” said Det. Darin Ryburn, police

association president. “Anything we can do ... it just makes me feel


No strings are attached to the donation, Ryburn said. Whatever the

parents, teachers, administration personnel and children decide they


need, they will get.

Lew Stone, president of the Local 778 union, said his members

understand how hard the kids worked to raise the money.

“Most of us have kids who have participated in fund-raisers at

their schools,” Stone said. “We [thought] that as long as we had the

money available, it would be great to replace what they worked so

hard to get.”

After reading about the theft, Schaffer said he felt bad for the



“They obviously worked very hard to raise that kind of money going

door to door, and then to have all their hopes taken away, I thought

it was devastating,” Schaffer said.

A tremendous blessing came out of the loss, Disney Principal Linda

Reksten said. After realizing the money was missing from a locked

cabinet behind her desk, Reksten said she was devastated.

“I tried to figure out how we were going to raise the money again.

We don’t have a lot of parents of means in our school,” Reksten said.

“The blessing is that several groups in the community have come forth

to supply those funds. Their compassion toward us as a school is