MILTON, Mass. - This week dozens of young athletes planned to be at a sports camp on a local college campus. But 10 days ago, the company running that camp made a surprise announcement that left many families in a lurch.
Twelve-year-old Andre Moore was looking forward to honing his pitching skills at the same summer baseball camp he attended last year: MB Sports Camps at Curry College.
"His session was starting the second week of July," said Chaurice Lewis, Andre's mother, who added that she registered her son for the camp back in May.
"It was about $965."
But just a few weeks later, she saw the first sign something might be up with the summer camp.
"Initially they said it would be Curry College, where they had done camp for, I think, over 20 years," she recalled. "But last minute in May, they said they were going to change it to Northeastern."
But Northeastern University told Boston 25 News that sometime in spring it told MB Sports Camps its facilities were not available. And then some parents heard the camps would be held here at Stonehill College in Easton.
But that didn't happen either.
The one person who could answer what happened to the camps and where the money paid went, well he's proving elusive to get in touch with. That person is MB Sports owner Mehdi Belhassan.
On July 2nd, Lewis says Belhassan sent an e-mail saying the camp would be canceled for summer 2019. The letter blames a former partner who, "has done everything in their power to sabotage our business, to give us a bad reputation and undermine our relationships."
What the e-mail didn't address was how parents like Chaurice Lewis will be reimbursed.
"I've reached out via phone, responded to the e-mails – to the general e-mails and also to the owner – and both the times I just received an automated response," she said.
Boston 25 News received no response to calls and texts to Belhassan's cell phone. We also couldn't reach him at an office where a co-worker confirmed he works.
Lewis scrambled and found a last-minute camp for Andre. Now she's fighting for that near-$1,000 for the summer sports camp that wasn't.
"This is a terrible way to be notified," she said. "And the first thing they should have been concerned about is returning our money."
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