Durham High School seniors and parents want refund from cancelled grad night event

Showmasters Entertainment was the company supplying games and activities for the seniors 'Safe and Sober Grad Night' event, but the contract says no refunds.

Posted: May 20, 2020 11:00 PM
Updated: May 21, 2020 9:54 AM

DURHAM, Calif. - Showmasters Entertainment was the company supplying games and activities for the seniors 'Safe and Sober Grad Night' event, but the contract says in writing no refunds for the deposit.

Christopher Seegert, a high school senior said, "It's hers its mine its everyone else's behind me we all got together to raise it."

The Durham High School seniors held fundraisers to help pay for their ‘Safe and Sober grad night’ which is supposed to be held at Cal Skate in Chico.

The skate park has nothing to do with the entertainment company giving refunds.

This money helped fund the $2,450 deposit with Showmasters Entertainment, providing games and activities throughout the night.

Brenda Seegert, a parent to a Durham senior and an organizer for the event said, "It's a nice night for these guys to have fun one last hoorah before they go off to college."

Seegert says they’ve worked with Showmasters Entertainment in the past and are aware of the contract.

"It does say no refund for the deposit but we did not break the contract but it was not in our control we had no service treated at all and obviously we can't hold the event on that date so we’re requesting to have the deposit given back to us," she said.

Showmasters Entertainment Owner John O'Brien told Action News NOw over the phone it was a mutual cancellation due to the Coronavirus crisis, and per Governor Newsom's orders to not have large gatherings.

"It's unfair I guess in both situations but I feel the right thing is to give us our deposit back," Seegert said.

Seegert told us she gave O'Brien the deposit back in December.

O'Brien says he cannot refund the money because it has already been spent in preparation for the event and securing the requested equipment.

"It was money spent that truly wasn’t his I mean obviously the date we were holding was in may it hasn’t even come yet," she said.

O'Brien told me he’s had to cancel all of his events and is currently out of business. With that, he mentioned a possible deposit extension to his parties, as well as in a letter stating in part quote “We are not in the position to refund any deposits for a multitude of reasons…I sought other options that could work to create win-win opportunities.”

He goes on to suggest those parties to co-op and purchase his inventory to use for any rescheduled events.

"The senior parents are different parents each year there’s no saying they’re going to actually have a safe and sober committee or do that after graduation they don’t technically have to do that so each year is different so there’s no way we can do that," Seegert said.

O'Brien proposed to postpone the event until the fall.

But Seegert says the money they raised was meant community-based and meant for this graduating class.

"Maybe its someone they knew it might be grandparents its meant for this class," Seegert said.

Seegert says they want the refunded money to give back to the seniors.

"We’re hoping what we can do it somehow give them gift cards or raffle prizes of things like that to give them a little something of what they were gonna get that night," she said.

Alison Smith, senior said, "So much stuff is going on right now and it stinks that it got canceled and I'm sure he's struggling with his business but its really all of our money that we worked hard and earned it for and I just hope he does the right thing."

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