Some Junior Seau statue donors still waiting to be paid back

Project put on hold in 2013

Team 10 learned some donors are still waiting for a refund after a project raising money to bring a Junior Seau statue to Oceanside was put on hold in July of 2013.
 
Debbie Bitker thought a a Junior Seau statue in the football player's hometown of Oceanside would be a touching way to pay tribute to him.
 
"He's from Oceanside and what better place to have this wonderful statue," said Bitker.
 
Bitker said she saw Michael Walters on 10News in August of 2012.
 
Walters, a former neighbor of Seau, started the statue fund and sold bricks for $100 that would surround the statue.
 
Bitker said something told her not to donate right away.
 
"I was waiting to see where the project went," said Bitker.
 
Plenty of people did give their money.
 
Jason Cohick saw the Junior Seau Memorial Facebook page from his home in Sacramento and donated $99.
 
"Being from Oceanside and growing up there we all idolized Junior Seau and all his successes. It was the right thing to do," said Cohick.
 
May marked two years since Seau's death and Bitker said it was time for her to give.
 
She checked Walter's website and Facebook page but both were gone.
 
She contacted Team 10 to find out what happened to the project and the money that was donated. 
 
Walters said in 2012 that the statue fund was up to $8,000, the city of Oceanside was on board and plans were drawn up.
 
Then, Walters sent an email to donors in July of 2013 that said the Seau family wanted the project on hold.
 
"He said we could get our money back or if we wanted to put our faith in the project with the hopes of it moving forward-- we could do that too," said Cohick.
 
The email also stated that donors could give their money to Club 55, a gym Junior Seau ran near the Oceanside Boys and Girls Club.
 
Cohick said he hasn't heard anything from Walters for a year.
 
Team 10 checked and the gym is closed.
 
Team 10 called Walters, who said he is still giving out refunds with many coming from his own pocket.
 
He couldn't give Team 10 exact figures of how much he paid back but said he will pay back anyone who contacts him.
 
Cochick really wanted his money to go to the statue or the club but now he said he'd like it back.
 
"I mean I didn't donate my money for nothing," said Cohick.
 
Team 10 emailed Cohick's information to Walters so he could get his money back.
Print this article Back to Top

Comments