The non-profit organization, Strong Kids Safe Kids, began 34 years ago with the Task Force on Children and Families of Chemung County Inc.
The annual Strong Kids Safe Kids Festival allow families to learn about services around the community all while engaging children with fun activities.
The treasurer of this local charity is Misty Purdy.
From December 2012, she embezzled thousands of dollars from Strong Kids Safe Kids, up until August 2017.
On April 18, 2018, Purdy was charged with grand larceny in the third degree. She pleaded guilty that day and paid $10,000 upfront towards $36,000 in restitution.
Purdy is currently serving six months in the Chemung County Jail. That will be followed by five years of probation and payments for the the remaining $26,000 to the Task Force. Chief Assistant District Attorney John Thweatt said that she will have an additional $1,300 surcharge, bringing her current grand total in ongoing restitution to $27,300.
“The whole task force, everyone involved, with the festival over the years has just been stunned,” Albert Comfort, President of the Task Force, said. “It was a really heartbreaking experience to go through, especially for many who considered Misty a very good friend.”
Sponsors are listed on the Strong Kids Safe Kids website but most were unable to comment on Purdy’s charge.
“We thank all of our donors we thank all of those that assisted with the festival over the years, we look forward to working together to continue the festival,” Comfort said.
As of now, the Task Force is looking to move past this and move forward with this year’s Strong Kids Safe Kids Festival to be held on August 18th.