Heights student athletes stopped by Bel Aire police for door-to-door fundraising

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BEL AIRE, Kan. (KAKE) -

Every year, it's not unusual for high school athletes to sell special discount cards to raise money for team equipment.

Last night, two Heights High School students were doing just that until someone called the police. 

The teens didn't think they were doing anything wrong, but it turns out you can't do door-to-door fundraisers without a permit.

Maliq Little and Dylan Depperschmidt recently took to the streets of Bel Aire to raise money for their football team.

Little said, "We were just selling these cards for Heights football, it has a bunch of discounts."

It’s common for schools and athletic programs to ask kids to sell something to help raise money for new uniforms, equipment, and field trips.

The teens say they’ve sold the card door-to-door for years, which is why they were so surprised when they were stopped by police.

Little said, "They said hey, we got a call from somebody that said there was two characters walking around that look suspicious."

At first the teens were wondering if something else was happening here. Little said, "When the police came, I was like I’m not trying to be one of those people on the news."

Depperschmidt said, "I know how he feels about the police and his color and the stories that have happened before."

Bel Aire Police told them what they were doing was illegal. Under the city code, anyone fundraising first needs to apply for a permit.

No permit shall be required for any transient merchant, solicitor or peddler under the following conditions:

5) For persons soliciting for a charitable contribution, as long as the person soliciting charitable funds submits a letter to the City Clerk identifying the recipient of the funds, fund raising methods and the dates during which the funds will be collected.

Depperschmidt said, "My mom went to city hall and got one.”

With a permit in hand, the teens say they plan to continue to fundraising.

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