Thieves hit AIDS support group on eve of World AIDS Day

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 30 at 11:28 PM

SEATTLE - Burglars broke into a local charity Tuesday and the crime couldn't have come at a worse time.

"I came up the stairs and found out our door had been kicked in," says Dale Rogers, executive director of the Dunshee House. Rogers discovered the burglary early Tuesday morning.

The Dunshee House is an AIDS support group - a charity, like many others, struggling to raise money in hard times.

"They took a digital camera that was here and two DVR cameras that were here," says Rogers, as he opened the drawers of a desk that had been ransacked. The thieves also stole a TV, power tools and four laptops that stored the charity's entire budget for the year.

"We spent a couple months on the budget. And the man hours that went into it, that is something we'll never get back," says Rogers.

The break-in couldn't have happened at a worse time. The Dunshee House has two fundraisers planned for Wednesday in honor of World AIDS Day, and now this break-in has set them back even more financially.

The estimated loss for the burglary is $10,000-$15,000. The charity says no private or personal information was stolen.

But fundraising efforts for the Dunshee House continue. Tuesday night, volunteers were selling Christmas trees in the lot out back.

The staff says damage can be repaired and their computers can be replaced. There is not time to cry over their hard work laid to waste.

"My staff is working around the clock. Our volunteers are working around the clock just to make everything work and to make sure this coming year is going to be OK for us and we can keep our doors open," says Rogers.

The 7th Annual World AIDS Day Luncheon is Wednesday at the Washington Convention & Trade Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information go to www.strongertogetherlunch.com.

Wednesday night is the "Rock the House" World AIDS Day Benefit for the Dunshee House. It's from 7 to 11 p.m. at Seattle's Hard Rock Cafe. For tickets, go to www.hardrock.com/seattle.

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