Crisis averted, but parents still want answers after Wayne County class trip money stolen

JESUP, GA (WTOC) - Dozens of Wayne County High graduates who thought they'd lost their chance at a senior cruise will set sail after all.

We told you last week about an investigation into missing money and reservations that weren't made, but the community pulled together to make the trip happen.

Ask around in Jesup and folks probably don't throw around the word 'miracle' lightly, but considering what almost happened with students missing their senior cruise and how it changed, it's nothing short of a miracle.

Dozens of parents were in panic mode last week when they learned the money they'd paid to a volunteer to organize the trip had only reserved spots for a handful and left roughly $30,000 missing. Parents like Jerilyn Bennett and her husband were in shock at the thought of their son Cody being cheated.

"I just think about how these kids worked so hard for this, keeping good grades. Some of them paid for the whole trip themselves," Bennett said.

The community came together and raised enough to sponsor the remaining kids. Travel agent Kris Altman helped them fast-track the spots on the Carnival ship, appropriately named 'Miracle.'

"I have kids and I have grandkids. My first thought was if this was them, I would want somebody to help them," Altman said.

Jerilyn Bennet says the donations have not damped parents' demand for answers into the woman suspected of keeping the kids' money.

"This is still on the back of our minds. It will not be let go," she said.

Parents and prosecutors say this last minute save to get the seniors on the cruise is entirely separate from the investigation into the missing money, especially when they find out some 11th Grade parents had already paid down on the 2019 cruise.

We'll keep following this and keep you updated.

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