Harmony man charged after allegedly stealing $10K from local nonprofit

CHICORA, Pa. — A Harmony man is facing charges after he allegedly stole around $10,000 that belonged to a local nonprofit.

Zelienople police said John Minarik stole money that belonged to Nevin’s Hunting Friends.

“How could you do it to the kids, especially special needs kids,” said Dan Burns, the president of Nevin’s Hunting Friends. “I could never. It’s unbelievable. I’m still a little bit in shock over it but we are doing what we can and fighting to get it back.”

Burns said his son, Nevin, started it ten years ago. He had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

“We take special needs kids throughout the year on different hunting and fishing adventures to get them outdoors,” said Burns.

Last fall in September, the nonprofit had a golf outing to raise money at a golf course in Butler. The money was going toward out-of-state trips for kids with special needs.

Police said the donations were made out to the company Minarik owns, called Veteran Containers. The company helped organize the event. However, months went by and Burns still never got the money. When he confronted Minarik, he said Minarik blamed it on one of his employees he fired.

“I asked him where the check was he said there was some kind of discrepancy that he thought his employee took the money and then he called the Zelienople police department for the investigation,” said Burns.

When police investigated, they said Minarik was actually the one that failed to hand over the fundraiser money. Instead, he spent all of it and admitted that to police. Burns says he won’t let this impact the kids.

“It affects us emotionally but not physically. We are going to keep going. We are not going to let this stop us,” said Burns.

Burns said they hope to hold another fundraiser to raise money again for their organization so they can continue to hold trips for the kids.

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