Olive Garden Reveals Big Surprise For Worried South Charlotte Students

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.–Jaelyn Davis might not have contributed much, but she’s proud of a fundraiser she participated in at her school called “Pasta for Pennies”.  “Yeah… but I did find three!” The five-year-old says she added three pennies to her kindergarten class’s collection of donations for research at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Sterling Elementary School.

But, Eric Matthews and Christopher Parks are accused of breaking into the school early last Friday morning and stealing that money. “I don’t know how somebody could sleep at night doing something like that, you know what I mean?” said South Charlotte Resident Vernon Witherspoon.

And now students are worried about their status, because the kindergarten class with the most money was supposed to win a pasta party from the Olive Garden. “For someone to take something away from them, that’s just awful. They are terrible people to do something like that,” said South Charlotte Resident Cherrie Jones.

So we reached out to Tara Gray with Olive Garden Media & Communications. She said, “When you initially told us what happened, we started putting plans into motion to make sure this school 
receives a pasta party from Olive Garden… we will absolutely make it happen, as a small gesture for everything they’ve been through.”

South Charlotte Resident David said, “The lesson is, we’re still gonna award you despite what somebody else did wrong for you. You still tried. You still put forth the effort.” Despite all the good news, Jaelyn just hopes the donations continue to roll in. “That’s why you have to give money… to help people who are sick,” she said.

CMPD says the burglars also destroyed some of the backpacks of food the school sends home with their homeless students on weekends.