Monday, November 26, 2012
Sources tell KAKE news Alex East was voted off the board amid allegations that money was missing from the nonprofit group. East was only 17 when he started the organization to raise funds to bring Joyland back to life.
The high school junior said it was his dream to restore the old park. He recruited help, collecting thousands of dollars at local fundraising events over the last few years.
But KAKE News has learned, East is no longer involved in Restore Hope - The Joyland Restoration Project.
"Stunned. He seemed to be the person who spearheaded the campaign," said Wichita City Council Member James Clendenin. "I've met with him several times. He's been very passionate about this. It's a little stunning to find that out."
Documents from the Kansas Secretary of State's Office show East was removed as president of the board of directors on October 15th. Sources tell KAKE News there are now questions regarding the whereabouts of the money raised for Joyland.
"People have given to Restore Hope with a passion, with hope that this part of history would be restored back," said Clendenin.
Clendenin has been a big supporter of bringing back Joyland. He met with a Joyland Restoration board member Monday afternoon.
Clendenin says the member wasn't specific, but he did tell him all the money has been returned. Current board president Kira Johnson tells KAKE News by phone that Alex East is no longer involved in Joyland. She says he decided it was a big project and he rolled it over to the board.
She also said, "There is no money missing, and that everything is accounted for."
Johnson also told KAKE News there are more restrictions on the non profit's bank account now. Two people have to sign off on checks. She would not say why the change was made. East did not return our repeated calls.