Sanford non-profit's headquarters ransacked by vandals

Vandalized may not even start to describe the scene Danny Trosset walked into at his Sanford office this week.

"I was just completely shocked and overwhelmed at just the destruction,” said Trosset.

Every window in the place had been broken, computers and monitors smashed, ceiling tiles and exit signs busted out, and donations and supplies thrown everywhere. 

The office is on the former Midway Elementary campus in Sanford; where Trosset now runs his non-profit Sports for the Kids. He found the mess Monday morning after Seminole School District workers doing maintenance at the old school saw the broken out windows in front.

Trosset took photos of a baseball bat laying in the broken glass out front and the absolute destruction inside. 

By Tuesday afternoon the district’s crews had helped the organization clean up a lot of the mess, but the damage was still everywhere in the building. Trosset said the biggest undertaking would be going through their inventory of donations and figuring out what, if anything had been stolen in the ransacking.  However, Trosset didn’t think theft was a main priority in the crime.

"They really weren't interested in stealing a whole lot of items versus just vandalizing and causing a lot of destruction,” he said.

According to a report by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, more than $10,000 in damage is estimated to have been done, the crime committed at some point over the holiday weekend. Deputies said nearly 60 windows were broken in the incident. 

Sports for the Kids is a non-profit organization that collects sports equipment, supplies, and develop scholarships for local kids who otherwise couldn’t afford to play on their local teams. 

Trosset said he created the group in about 2012 and that he and his entire staff of volunteers work for free so all of the funding they collect can go to the cause.  Now, the group will have to find ways to fund their recovery as well.

A Go Fund Me page set up by the group had already raised several hundred dollars by Tuesday afternoon and Trosset said community members had been contacting the group asking how they could help.

Ultimately, Trosset said they will unfortunately have to move from the location due to the damage in the building and the fact that this was the second break-in they’d experienced there in 2 years.

"These things unfortunately happen and it's just a matter of how we bounce back and how we keep moving forward to continue to help kids,” he said.

The group said people wishing to help in their recovery can also contact them directly or through their website.