A story on the television newscast shocked Emily Hayes, making her feel as though the bad news was suddenly close.
Several school groups in the Perrysburg district, the district from which Mrs. Hayes had graduated and which her two children attend, were missing thousands of dollars.
The groups' volunteer treasurer, Kiki Lorann, was later indicted on four felony theft counts in the disappearance of more than $100,000. Her next court appearance is a pretrial hearing scheduled for Sept. 25 in Wood County Common Pleas Court.
"I was shocked. When you hear stuff, it doesn't usually affect you," said Mrs. Hayes, 34, a stay-at-home mom. "It was very personal."
Determined to help, Mrs. Hayes and other volunteers threw a fund-raiser last month.
Organizers said last week they raised between $8,000 and $8,500 during the "Going the Extra Mile for Perrysburg Students," a race, carnival, and auction/raffle.
Attendance was estimated at 400 people -- with 210 registering for the race alone -- as the atmosphere seemed like a football game with cheerleaders, the high school band, and plenty of Perrysburg spirit.
For the school groups, it was a moment of community pride.
"We needed to lift them up," Mrs. Hayes said. "They were at ground zero. They had nothing."
The proceeds will be split evenly between the Perrysburg Elementary Parents' Association and the Toth Parents' Club, which reported a combined $91,000 missing.
Money was also taken from Perrysburg Sting Baseball, authorities said.
Leaders from the two groups said they have enough money to prevent program cuts.
The groups pay for extras -- treats or classroom activities -- which, because of state funding cuts and growing enrollment, the district can't always afford.
PEPA spends about $10,000 on activities, such as reading programs for students in grades 2 through 5 in all four elementary schools and speakers who do animal demonstrations or teach opera in the classrooms.
With about half of its budget raised for this school year, which started Aug. 29, Sherina Ohanian, president of PEPA, said she hopes the club can raise the rest during two smaller events.
The Extra Mile is a "burst for the school year," said Mrs. Ohanian, whose identical twins are third graders at Frank Elementary School and who also has an eighth grader at Perrysburg Junior High.
The Toth club, which has a $5,000 annual budget, pays for things such as frozen treats at recess and instruments for music class.
"It's just overwhelming support," said Missy Madigan, Toth club president, whose third grader and fourth grader attend the elementary.
"Good comes from bad. … It was an unfortunate circumstance that actually made us stronger."