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WDC warns about unaffiliated solicitation

Wadena-Deer Creek has no affiliation with an out-of-state company that is seeking local "sponsors" for a fall sports schedule card.

At least one area business, Tri-County Health Care, has received an email solicitation from Jane Lester of Scholarship Calendars, a Virginia-based firm. In the email sent last week to TCHC's chief financial officer Kim Aagard, Lester asked her to consider sponsoring full-color pocket-sized schedule cards.

"One spot is 300.00 or 500.00 for both the front and back," Lester wrote. "Let me know if you would like to see a sample, I can email it to you. You can pay for your ad after delivery in the fall if you like :)"

Aagard alerted WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum, who quickly spread the word to local businesses via the Wadena Chamber of Commerce that the school district is not endorsing the solicitation.

"This appears to me to be a for-profit enterprise," Westrum said. "We don't have any affiliation. There's no benefit coming toward the student athletes here in any way, shape or form."

He said it's important the "wonderful businesses and individuals that sponsor our activities" are aware of the nature of the solicitation.

Reached by phone Monday, Salina Brickey - who identified herself as the graphic designer for Scholarship Calendars - said the ads pay for the cost of the cards.

"We deliver everything that we print," Brickey said.

She said the company won't print the cards if no one sponsors them.

An online searched revealed that several school districts throughout the country have been approached with similar requests from Scholarship Calendars.

Last October, the Humphreys County (Tennessee) sheriff's office conducted a preliminary investigation into the company and found it "is the subject of a scam alert spanning several states," according to a news release.