GROESBECK, Texas (KWTX) Money raised by a Groesbeck Tee Ball team for Layla Evetts, 5, a local girl with terminal brain cancer finally was delivered to the girl’s father Tuesday, after a woman who initially pocketed the cash returned it.
"Diamond Divas'" special helmet in honor of Layla Evetts.
A parent hand-delivered the money to Layla’s father, Corey Evetts, who confirmed he was given ten, $100 bills.
“I would really like to commend the efforts of the parent who took charge,” Evetts said.
“She literally was the only person connected to the team that went above and beyond to make sure the money ended up where it was intended.”
With the outpouring of love and support for Layla and our family, this in no way blemished the integrity of the rea or communities we live in,” Evetts said.
“I’m still convinced this is the best place in the world!”
The Diamond Divas, a 6- and 7-year old girls’ team got a bid to the state Tee Ball championship in July.
They put on car washes, bake sales, raffles and more to pay for their trip to state when they decided they wanted a portion of what they’d raised, $1,000, to go to Layla.
In February, Evetts was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a very aggressive type of tumor at the base of the brain and was given only months to live, however, she’s beaten the odds so far by enrolling in expensive clinical trials, and her family believes, people’s generosity and prayers.
According to Diamond Diva parents, a mother of one of the girls from Axtell who joined the team during playoffs, volunteered to deliver the $1,000 in cash to Evetts’ father in Riesel in July.
However, the money never made it there.
“I knew when we never got a ‘thank you’ from Layla’s family, something was wrong,” said one parent.
That parent followed up two weeks ago by reaching out to Layla’s Dad, Corey Evetts, to see if they’d received the donation.
Because of the community’s generosity through numerous events and fundraisers benefitting Layla where many large donations were made, Evetts said he wanted to make sure they hadn’t received the money in some other way, but after checking ledgers he confirmed – they never did.
“We’ve had so much support already, this isn’t about the money,” said Evetts.
“They literally fundraised to go to state and they all decided to take money out of their own expense account to donate to Layla, I feel bad for the team that raised the money and trusted this woman.”
Parents involved in the situation said they reached out to the woman but kept getting different stories as to where the money went.
“First she said she put it in her bank account for safe keeping, then she said she put it in a vault at work, she said she gave it to a short-haired woman on the Riesel Little League Board, or at least who she thought was on the board,” said a parent who questioned the woman. “All I know is our kids raised that money, it was handed directly to her, and it never made it to the recipient.”
Parents say they continued to get the run around until they threatened to get law enforcement and KWTX involved.
“She paid it today over PayPal,” one of the parents said Friday afternoon. “I think the only reason she sent it is because the little league board she’s on knows about it and made her step down and now you guys are involved.”
It takes a minimum of 24-hours and up to several days for PayPal money transfers to go through.
“As soon as that money comes in, it’s going straight to that baby,” said the parent.
Evetts reiterated, they didn’t need the money, it was the thought behind it that mattered.
“The girls deserve to be recognized,” said Evetts. “I think it’s just terrible what she did.”