Polar Plunge donation funds stolen at restaurant in Big Lake, Minn.

- Kathy Berg doesn’t blame the business. She blames the crook, the one who stole the money that business was helping her collect for this weekend’s Anoka County Polar Plunge. The money was destined to help the Special Olympics.

“They said somebody came in and collected the money, and I went 'what?'” Berg said.

According to Berg, the restaurant worker said the individual claimed to know Berg.

"I’m like, I didn’t send anybody in here. So it was pretty devastating,” she said

Kathy Berg’s son, Darren, is the one actually taking the plunge. And he’s doing it in honor of his own son, Emmett, who’s almost four years old and was born with Down’s Syndrome.

But Kathy and her husband David had set up a donation collection at a Big Lake business that she doesn’t want to name, not wanting them to get attention they don’t deserve. Because on Sunday, someone came in claiming to have been sent by Kathy to collect the money.

“And I think this person just happened to catch my name on the bottom of the picture (of Emmett) and said, 'oh yeah, Kathy sent me in to collect the money for her, because his plunge is this weekend,' and it was busy and it just happened,” said Berg.

This being a small town where you’d like to trust everyone and a charity you would never expect anyone to exploit, the worker handed over the money, about $200 in an envelope. The person left a fake name and number.

Big Lake police are investigating, and Kathy is busy raising money again for her son’s plunge this weekend.  

A link to donate can be found here. But, she’s also concerned for other businesses helping people collect donations now that someone actually stooped so low to try this, and got away with it.

"I think everybody should be aware that there are people are out there who’ll try this and dupe other people,” she said.
 


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