OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas have been fundraising in the hot summer days for new uniforms, but parents say a former coach pocketed the money and took off.
Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas coach and mom Kasidy Anderson told KFOR an idea to create the cheer team popped up in early 2023. All they needed was a coach, and one stepped up.
“I really didn’t know her personally previously, but you know, I was like, ‘Okay, someone wants to take a chance. Let’s go,'” said Anderson.
The team was created in March and now it’s filled with 26 girls.
Anderson has two daughters on the team. One is four years old and the other is 11.
With a new team comes the need for new gear.
The team has held five different fundraisers and collected roughly $4,000. The girls collected money during car washes and on the corners of busy streets.
“We did really good some days, others not so good. But, you know, all in all, it was for the girls. I didn’t mind going out there and getting a sunburn or two,” added Anderson. “We were interested in these uniforms. They came with the flared skirts and of course, the tops. Yeah, baggy pants, pretty bows. That was part of the gear; warm up uniforms and everything with those. They were really nice. I liked it.”
In addition to the money collected through fundraising, parents chipped in a portion as well.
Anderson said everything they were looking at wanting for the season was going to cost nearly $5,400.
An alleged invoice from Cheerleading.com was sent to parents in which everything appeared to be paid for.
However, as time went on, parents were questioning where the gear was.
“Those days come and pass and we’re like, ‘What’s going on? What happened with the uniforms?’ Then that’s when all of the communication fails. We get a bunch of lies, false documents, fake conversations, and turns out uniforms were never ordered from the company,” said Anderson.
Another mom and Top Dawg Divas Assistant Manager, Alexis Ball, said she was frustrated because the girls earned every dollar they got.
According to an email correspondence between the Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas and a Cheerleading.com representative on June 27, the order was confirmed as never being placed. The representative also said they hadn’t heard from the then-coach since May 24.
“This being just my first year for my daughter to cheer, I wanted to bring her into something that she can trust and be able to know, like, ‘Hey, this is how cheerleading works.’ But to know we didn’t get what we wanted or what was promised to us, it kind of made the trust a little iffy,” said Ball.
Additionally, a Top Dawg Divas representative said she was on a three-way call with the former coach and who she thought was a Cheerleading.com representative.
After the call ended, she emailed Cheerleading.com who said they don’t have an employee that goes by the name provided in the three-way call.
Ball and Anderson not only feel taken advantage of, but they also feel like their daughters were used.
Ball did explain she felt like she had some closure with the situation when reading the email from Cheerleading.com because then she knew where the money went.
“Stuff wasn’t all in the air. It kind of just like put an ending to it, like, okay, this is exactly what happened. We got some form of truth,” said Ball.
Text messages shared with KFOR between an Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas representative and the former coach show several times where proof of purchase or the money was asked for.
The money was requested to be returned by July 1. The then-coach agreed to doing so on June 29.
The money was not reimbursed, so a cheer team representative extended the deadline to July 2.
When the money was still not refunded, the Top Dawg Divas sent the then-coach a demand letter.
“You have not paid a debt owed to Oklahoma Top Dawgs Athletics LLC/Top Dawgs Sports Inc., which you incurred on June 5th, 2023. The amount remaining unpaid on the debt is $5,378.91. Demand is hereby made that this money be paid. Unless payment of this amount is received by the undersigned no later than July 5th, 2023, a lawsuit will be brought against you in the Commercial Claims part of Oklahoma City Court in order to obtain a judgement against you,” the demand letter reads.
Payment options were provided in the letter.
An Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas representative then received a text on July 10 from the then-coach claiming she was scammed and has proof.
No proof was provided, according to the text messages KFOR was provided with.
Ball said the communications started lacking early on and then ceased altogether.
As of Friday morning, the team has still not been reimbursed, according to Anderson.
“To know that all of that went down the drain for nothing, I was livid,” said Anderson. “We’re hoping for a little justice. We want the lies to stop. We want you to come forward, you know, own up to what you did. You initially stole from children, you know, children that trusted you to be their leader and have their back. And you did and you let them down. We want justice for that.”
A police report has been filed with the Oklahoma City Police Department and Anderson said they will move forward on taking legal action. An arrest has not been made.
Ball said the good news is they managed to get last-minute uniforms prior to their season starting.
“Thank goodness that they are girls. You know, ‘I just love to cheer and look cute at this age.’ So we had the backup plan in place, which gave them a little cushion like, ‘Okay, hey, not getting these, but look at what you are getting.’ So it was just a little extra to cushion the blow,” she added.
Ball said the team didn’t lose any members either and are still adding to the team.
The former coach accused of stealing their money is no longer affiliated with the team. Ball told KFOR it was a mutual agreement she not coach anymore.
Both Ball and Anderson emphasized how great the team is and don’t want to deter any families interested in joining with one bad experience.
The Oklahoma Top Dawg Divas will cheer on the sidelines of a game on Saturday and hopefully on Sunday.
News 4 reached out to the then-coach for comment. She originally wanted to share her side of the story, but then quickly backed out.
“I do not want my name used, as my public information has been already posted without my consent. My children and I have been threatened and sooo much more. However, when it’s over, I will be more than glad to speak with you,” she said.
According to the Oklahoma State Courts Network, the former coach has been found guilty of not paying rent several times in Oklahoma County court.
She told KFOR her attorney advised her not to speak.