WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It was a night to remember for the Wilmington non-profit group, G.i.R.L., or gifted in rhythm and life, as they got to perform at a NBA basketball game.
But, what started as an exciting experience has turned into quite the hassle for founder Cassandra McNeil.
“I can’t believe it finally happened… because so many other people are vying for spot to dance at a Hornets game,” McNeil said.
What was supposed to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, turned into a nightmare for the group of girls.
“I mean it’s a smack in the face,” McNeil said.
The G.i.R.L. group performed on March 24th at the tip off of the Charlotte Hornets VS the Cleveland Cavaliers game in Charlotte. In exchange for their performance, they were told they had to sell a certain number of tickets to secure their spot on the dance floor.
“So we went out bake sales, car washes, anything we could do to raise money. Sponsorship’s, donations, the dance moms they went into action when it came to raising money for this opportunity. The girls worked just as hard as the moms,” McNeil said.
The non-profit organization gives girls who may not have the finances the chance to learn how to dance in an affordable way. But now they are learning a different lesson.
“You got to pick and choose your battles. With some battles you have to go in and you have to step to them. And that’s what I’m doing,” McNeil said.
McNeil said the Hornets said the group would get a portion of the proceeds if they met their goal, which McNeil says they did.
“Even leading up to the performance it was still confirmed that with each ticket sold, it would be a $5 contribution back to the G.i.R.L. non-profit organization,” McNeil said. “That’s why we urged everyone to purchase their tickets using the link provided on the flyer that they created, so we would get credit for those tickets.”
McNeil sent us an email from Account Executive, Brian Imhoff, promising the money and that he was working on sending the check. But, nearly three months after the performance, McNeil said she got a call saying they were not getting the nearly $300 they worked for.
It is money McNeil says their non-profit needs.
“And for us that’s a nice chunk of change to help pay for dance studio time, to help play for uniforms, to help pay for future performances that our girls have lined up. To take care of all the expenses we need to maintain as a non-profit organization,” McNeil said.
McNeil said she is not asking for a handout but just wants the money her girls worked for, and for the Charlotte Hornets to hold up their part of the deal.
WWAY spoke with the Hornets Director of Communications Josh Rosen, he sent us this statement:
“There was a miscommunication between Ms. McNeil and her ticket executive with regards to our fundraising program. The ticket executive is no longer with the team but we have been in communication with Ms. McNeil and we are in the process of working with her to find a resolution.”