LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Barely into the start of summer and the day camp for nearly 200 kids is shutting down. It's unclear if their parents will get their money back.
It's called Inspirational Keys, based in Memphis, Tennessee. They had a lease agreement with Melbourne Heights Baptist Church on Taylorsville Road and Mill Creek Elementary School. Both said Wednesday they are ending that agreement.
The Jefferson County Public Schools said it's because the people who promised a 10 week academic and activity based program are not delivering on that promise.
"I wanted to put her in this program because the way that it was explained to me it was very structured it had a lot of activities," explained Edwina Clark, a mother whose 7 year old daughter only attended for one day before learning it was shutting down.
Gretchen Hilbert is another mom who picked it for her 8 and 9 year-old kids for similar reasons.
"All the activities our children request or want to participate in all year long were available through this program," said Hilbert.
Both who hadn't spoken before had very similar stories about how their now nightmare unfolded with Inspirational Keys. They each found out about the program through fliers.
"I went to pick up the kids at school and it was hanging on the lobby window of Wilder Elementary," explained Hilbert.
Clark got hers in her daughter's backpack when she came home from Goldsmith Elementary School.
They both went online to research. At a rate of $150 down for activities and registration then only $65 a week after that, "I kind of looked at it and it almost sounded too good to be true," said Clark.
"Everything I found on them online at that time just via their website was like a dream come true," said Hilbert.
Tuesday they found out it wasn't the case.
"We were informed today is last day of camp that there will be no refunds made," said Hilbert, describing what the workers on site told her. "They were asked not to tell parents. They were going to wait until Friday, but we didn't think it was right."
"The director was saying this is a scam there's no more camp this is the last day. I thought is this a joke? What is going on here," explained Clark.
Unsure of what was going on, both called the operator, Quinton Cox, in Memphis who showed up Wednesday morning.
"He said this morning that his commitment would be to stay in Louisville and see the 10 week program through and any parent that chose not to stay within the program would be refunded any fees that were not for services rendered," said Clark.
That's what Cox initially told WAVE 3 too and agreed to answer questions on camera later in the day. After two phone calls to set up that interview, Cox said he was in a meeting and too busy, then hung up on me. I tracked him down at Melbourne Heights Baptist Church where he continued to say he was too busy with meetings to give an explanation about the closure.
After Hilbert learned the camp is officially shutdown, she asked Cox for her money back. He told her he would still reimburse her for services rendered. What that means at this point she's unsure.
Even worse than getting their money back, Hilbert, Clark and all the other parents who relied on the camp to watch their kids during the workday aren't sure where they'll send their kids now.
Inspirational Keys does have an "F" rating from the BBB in Memphis according to its website.
A spokesperson for Consumer Affairs in Tennessee said they have one complaint filed against the company, but it was closed because it didn't deal with consumer satisfaction. They couldn't reveal what the complaint was.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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