Noteworthy

Cary boy raises $28K for charity after theft

Posted March 29, 2012 5:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 1, 2012 9:59 a.m. EDT

— It's a crime that's difficult to imagine – a thief knowingly steals money meant for a charity from a boy who can't walk.

But that's what happened last week to Nolan Turner, a 12-year-old Cary boy with spina bifida who was working to raise money so that his wheelchair basketball team to play at his school, Briarcliff Elementary.

Nolan had raised $250 of the $1,000 needed to transport equipment and wheelchairs made especially for sports from the Durham-based nonprofit Bridge II Sport's headquarters to the school.

He had set up a table in front of his home and was selling bottled water when the thief took the cash.

"I made the mistake of telling him I couldn't walk, and he took the money and walked away," Nolan said Thursday.

A week later, Nolan says he is surprised by the generosity of donors who have pledged more than $28,000 for the cause.

"I'm happy. I'm really, really happy," he said.

Briarcliff Elementary will be able host the basketball team this spring, and because Nolan has raised so much money, organizers say there is enough to buy much needed equipment – each wheelchair can cost up to $5,000 – and a trailer to haul it.

Cary police are still looking for the thief – described as a black man in his 20s who is either bald or has short hair. He is described as being between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall.

Nolan says that, if the thief were in need, he would have helped.

"If he had just asked me for a few dollars, I would give that to him."