Last week, Old Fort Country Market received money that had been raised by students at Old Fort Local Schools. The money, which was generated through a bake sale and donations, was raised for the store to purchase security cameras following a series of break-ins.
"They raised a huge donation for us," said Brenda Engeman, co-owner of the market. She did not want to disclose the size of the donation.
Engeman said the money has been used to not only purchase security cameras, but also is going toward fixing six water line breaks that occurred around the same time of the last break-in.
Brenda Engeman (left) and Jessica Hasselbach, owners of Old Fort County Market, pose with a donation box students from Old Fort Local Schools gave them last week.
During the last break-in, which occurred in January, a window was broken and cigarettes and a TV were taken. Engeman said it was the fifth time in 10 years the market has been burglarized.
A suspect in the January break-in, Cyle J. Carter, 24, of Tiffin, has been charged with theft, breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, possession of criminal tools and tampering with evidence. Carter also is a suspect in vehicle break-ins and a break-in at Mad River Antiques.
"We just thought how nice," Engeman said of the donations. "We're just so grateful and so fortunate."
Engeman said the market, which opened 10 1/2 years ago, is located in the middle of the village, and is a hot spot for students after school.
"We enjoy them so much and I think they enjoy us," she said.
Sandy Adelsperger, a high school science teacher at Old Fort who also in charge of student council, said students originally came up with the idea to buy a TV to replace the stolen one. After discussing other possibilities, student council made a final decision to give funds from a bake sale, which was held on Valentine's Day, to the market. Student council members also accepted donations from the community to give to the market, Adelsperger said.
She said some students work at the market, and the market also has been an asset to the school.
Engeman and co-owner Jessica Hasselbach feed students after school, take cupcakes to the school and also make donations, Adelsperger said.
"They just help out so much, the kids just wanted to find a way to help them out," she said.
Adelsperger said students from English classes also wrote thank-you notes that were given to the store last week along with a donation box they made.
"They were touched so much," Adelsperger said.
"We're so thankful. We're shocked and thankful. They're such good kids," Engeman said. "Parents should all be proud of their children."