By Bethany Bray
---- — SALEM — Several items were stolen from the Boys and Girls Club in a daytime break-in last week. This week, the story took a happy twist.
The Hawthorne Hotel donated two 32-inch flat-screen TVs to replace the stolen ones, and sent an electrician to install the televisions and mend some wiring that had been damaged.
General Manager Juli Lederhaus said the hotel was happy to help.
“We believe that we’re in a community here, we’re not just in business,” she said.
The nonprofit is “incredibly grateful,” said Joanne Scott, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club.
“It just shows that for every one or two nasty people out there, there are thousands of great people,” Scott said.
The Nov. 9 break-in happened in the middle of the day, before any children were in the building, Scott said.
Someone broke a window on a locked door that leads to the teen lounge and stole a TV from the lounge, and a smaller TV and a Wii game system from another room, she said. Although club staff were in the building that afternoon, no one saw the theft. Salem police are investigating.
Lederhaus read about the thefts and felt bad.
“They probably work on a shoestring budget,” she said. “I feel for them. ... It’s kind of just a drop in the bucket of what they need.”
The TVs, taken from the hotel’s surplus stock, were engraved for the Boys and Girls Club to deter future theft.
The Hawthorne Hotel is just a block away from the Salem Boys and Girls Club.
The club is in the midst of a search for a new location. Immaculate Conception Church will terminate its lease with the Boys and Girls Club in August to make way for a new Catholic boys school.
The Boys & Girls Club began leasing the former St. Mary’s School building from the church in 1987.
Bethany Bray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.