WSVN — Parents often help their kids’ schools out. One woman loaned a booster club money to help pay for a trip for football players, but now the booster club and coach are refusing to repay her. It’s tonight’s edition of Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

When Tracy Deuyour’s son started playing football at Hollywood Hills High School, she was the type of parent every school wants.

Tracy Deuyour: "I joined the booster club in his freshman year, stayed there even a year after he left and went to college."

As a booster, she worked with other parents to raise money for the football team.

Tracy Deuyour: "For any items they, the football program, need that the school does not provide them."

Then the head football coach wanted to take some players to a 7-on-7 tournament in Ocala. The booster club didn’t have the money at that time, so the coach asked Tracy to help.

Tracy Deuyour: "And I offered my credit card with the promise — I had a promise from the head coach — that I would be paid back, because I can’t afford to do that on my own, and he promised to pay it back."

Tracy says the football coach paid for the vans for the trip, and she paid for the hotel rooms.

Tracy Deuyour: "It was great. We came back, the coach got paid back for the vans, and I never got paid back."

Tracy has a document from the booster club that says using Tracy’s credit card was approved by Coach Al Lang and the money was to be paid back by the football booster club. And they did pay back some of the money, nearly $2,200 dollars.

Tracy Deuyour: "I would get payments here and there while I was part of the booster club."

She is still owed $3,800 for the trip to Ocala and money she lent the club to buy T-shirts for fundraisers, but instead of being repaid by the booster club, she got booted.

Tracy Deuyour: "Administration wanted a whole new crew there with people who had kids who played, so we were asked to leave, and that was fine."

Tracy didn’t mind leaving the booster club because her son had graduated, but she didn’t want to leave behind the $3,800 she had loaned them.

Tracy Deuyour: "The coach and the booster club are the people who owe me the money, because that is who I was told I’d be paid back from. That is who the money was given to off my credit card."

Tracy loved helping out at Hollywood Hills High School. She never expected this in return.

Tracy Deuyour: "It hurts to have given five years of my life to these people and, you know, and it hurts that they are treating me like this now."

Well, Howard, legally is tracy entitled to get her money back?

Howard Finkelstein: "Yes, she is. And from the documents and texts we have seen, both the football coach and the booster club are responsible for returning the money. And if the principal blocks them from repaying the loan, it’s what the law calls tortious interference with a contract, and the principal could be liable as well."

We first spoke to the school district. A spokesperson said the principal did not approve using Tracy’s credit card, and Coach Al Lang did not have the authority to approve using Tracy’s credit card.

The district spokesman also said Coach Al Lang said he never gave Tracy the authority to spend her money for the football team.

We tried to talk to Coach Lang about the booster club documents that say he approved using Tracy’s credit card. He did not return our calls.

Howard Finkelstein: "If the coach and booster club won’t return Tracy’s money, she should sue. And that document is what lawyers call a smoking gun, which almost guarantees she will win in court."

Tracy hopes the Hollywood Hills Booster Club repays her so she doesn’t have to sue them. And while they have her money, they can’t take away her memories of helping the athletes.

Tracy Deuyour: "Some of the kids who went there didn’t have a lot of money, so it was nice to be able to help these kids. I’ve bought cleats for kids who needed cleats."

Patrick Fraser: "Hopefully they will repay Tracy the $3,800 they owe her, and if they don’t, Tracy can sue in small claims court. She doesn’t need a lawyer; that will keep her costs down. We will let you know what happens.

Feel like you are being tossed around like a football? Need a boost from someone to kick things into gear? Contact us. All we ask you to loan us is your problem. With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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