Community steps up to help charity left $30,000 short by busines - WNEM TV 5

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Community steps up to help charity left $30,000 short by business owner's arrest

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The community has stepped up and is helping to fill a hole left at a local charity which expected a donation from a businessman accused of embezzlement.

Chasse Dance studio owner Michael Lajoice jailed and accused of embezzling tens of millions of dollars.

"I never expected this," said Margie Shard.

Shard, a business owner, said she felt shock and horror after hearing about LaJoice’s alleged embezzlement.

"I just think the whole town is in shock. It's just bizarre," Shard said.

And now the charities LaJoice helped are left out in the cold.

Shard's fundraiser for the Eastern Michigan Food Bank, to help feed 1,000 children, was depending on a $30,000 donation from LaJoice.

"Every year we try to raise more money which we've successfully done. So the goal is to raise more money but now on top of that we have to make up for this $30,000 loss that we have," Shard said.

Shard said that large sum of money is the equivalent of feeding 300 kids in the Genesee County area.

Shard tells TV5 that DM Burr has stepped in as title sponsor, with a $10,000 donation. That, along with community support has gotten them half-way to their $30,000 goal.

If you'd like to help, donate here.

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