Lakefront Lines returns $6,661 for MLK Jr. Academy for Boys Washington D.C. bus trip

The owner of Big C’s Smoked BBQ and William Liddell worked to raise the money for the bus
Lakefront Lines refunds money raised for MLK Jr. Academy trip to Washington D.C.
Lakefront Lines refunds money raised for MLK Jr. Academy trip to Washington D.C.(Steve Slivka)
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 8:17 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The owner of Big C’s Smoked BBQ reached out to 13abc with the hopes of trying to recoup the money he helped raise to send a Toledo school on a bus trip to Washington D.C. after the bus company announced in July it is suspending its operations.

Martin Luther King Jr. Academy for Boys was set for a trip to Washington D.C. in April until COVID-19 forced the school to cancel the trip.

Charlie Collins of Big C’s Smoked BBQ held a fundraiser in the parking lot of MLK Jr. Academy during the winter and ran out of food during the event due to the overwhelming demand for his smoked chicken and ribs that day to help send the boys to see the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“I didn’t have the opportunity,” Collins said. “Plus the fact a lot of history is not being taught out of the books or whatever the case and I think we just tried to put a face on history.”

Between the fundraiser and additional help from William Liddell, the duo paid Lakefront Lines $6,661 to cover the cost of the charter bus.

In July, the parent company of Lakefront Lines - Coach USA - announced the bus company would cease operations by September 2020.

13abc reached out to Coach USA for comment about returning the money for the trip which did not happen.

Tuesday afternoon, a controller for Lakefront Lines contacted 13abc and said the company wanted to make things right financially for the school.

The controller contacted Liddell and said he should receive a check for $6,661 next week.

“We got other schools but MLK was the one the one that we decided on,” Collins said. “We actually wanted to make this a yearly event where other schools can take their kids. It was a community driven experience because the entire community came out.”

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