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Money Stolen from Fundraiser in Richmond Heights

It happened late last month as part of a Missouri Women in Trades event held at VFW Post 3500.

The theft of hundreds of dollars in proceeds from a Missouri Women in Trades trivia night held in has been an education for Teresa Willis.

"You learn from your mistakes of being too trusting," said Willis, executive director of the St. Louis city-based organization. The group intended to use the money from the You Don't Know Jill trivia night at to increase opportunities for women in trade and technical professions.

Now, the missing proceeds are the subject of an investigation by the 's detective bureau.

It appears the theft of more than $1,400 from a metal cash box happened on the night of the March 31 fundraiser. Willis thinks the theft probably happened toward the end of the event.

The perpetrator took $1,200 in proceeds and $200 of personal money Willis put toward the event, she said. It does not include the assorted change that also vanished.

Some of the volunteers who participated in the event have been contacted to get more information, she said.

Richmond Heights police continue to work on the case, Sgt. Doug Schaeffler said.

But Willis remains optimistic. The event raised more than $2,000, so the organization still turned a profit. And it's not the only way the group raises money.

"We still made money on the event, and we built a lot of good feelings for our organization," Willis said.

At the same time, the group is young. It incorporated in 2008 and is working to gain traction.

"When you're young and new, every dollar means a great deal more," Willis said.

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