STANSBURY PARK, Utah – A group of students visiting the U.S. from China were the victims in a vehicle burglary in which about $2,000 was taken from a tour bus, but on Saturday a group of locals did their best to make things right and prevent the students from leaving the Beehive State with a bad taste in their mouth.
The group held a bake sale in Stansbury Park to try to raise enough money to replace what was taken from the students, who were visiting This is the Place Heritage Park when their tour bus was burglarized.
Emily Jensen was a host for one of the exchange students, and she said at Saturday’s bake sale price tags didn’t seem to matter much.
“A lady just bought a couple of cupcakes and paid me $100 and would not accept any change,” she said.
The generosity ties together a piece of Utah heritage and a group of Chinese exchange students.
"We love them, and we don't want them to leave with this negative impression of Utah,” Jensen said.
The students are visiting the United States for three weeks, but they were robbed here in Utah.
"When we came back, we find that our money was stolen," Shelly Cheng said.
Jensen said they hope to not only replace the funds, but also show that Utah is a great place to visit.
"We are very glad and very happy to have this kind of fair,” Shelly said.
A Facebook post by one of the host families proposed a bake sale on Saturday in Stansbury Park to raise the money the kids lost.
"Somehow it just exploded, and we have little kids who have held Kool-Aid stands dropping their money off at the house, and another guy brought over a bunch of money from his kids’ piggy banks,” Jensen said.
Donations were collected for raffle items, homemade cake pops, cookies, cupcakes and more.
Shelly Cheng said they were grateful for the gesture.
"The people of Utah are very nice, and I think Utah is such a great place, and we want to say thank you from our hearts: Thank you very much," she said, with two other students chiming in for the final thank you.
Event organizers said if the bake sale and donations total up to more than the $2,000 stolen from the students, the group will give the rest to Tooele County's Sub for Santa program to buy gifts for kids in need.