From: kenneth ditkowsky
Sent: May 19, 2015 5:07 PM
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Subject: Democracy is not a spectator Sport –
Since the day that the first charity opened its doors to donors there have been scam artists who have tried to profit on backs of the elderly and the disabled. When I was the chairman of “boys and girls committee” the local Kiwanis Club I got a dose of reality.
The function of the Kiwanis Club was to raise money and distribute it to families and children in need – with a strong concentration of needy children. The club was composed of businessmen in the particular area and it was our policy that not one dime of public money was to be used by the club. All administrative and other costs came out of our own pockets. We used the same type of fund raising as everyone else, but, on a particular day every year we got out on the street and sold peanuts to any motorist who might be passing by on a particular corner.
We raised a substantial amount of money but never enough.
At the time I was young man in my middle to late twenties and wet behind the ears ‘big time.’ Come fund raising time I had no shame. After the deposition of the CEO of a large corporate stationery chain (who I was suing) I asked him what the company did with its shopworn merchandise. He told me that they gave it away. Naturally I asked him if he would give it to Kiwanis. He gave me an affirmative.
Being naive I went to the charities that Kiwanis supported and I asked them to provide me with a wish list. I got standbagged, but I was totally unaware of it. They listed the kitchen sink. I called the CEO and asked him if his company could supply the items on the wish list. He did! (Now that I think about it, some of the charities must have had heart attacks as semi-trailer trucks pulled up and delivered merchandise).
I cannot tell you how proud of ME I was. I had filled the wish list and still had 100% of the money that I delegated to give away.
Luck happens to be my middle name, and I was blessed with having some dealings with a major food store. (Jewel) They had a catering service wherein they would provide a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings at your home for x dollars. As the Attorney for Switchman’s local 1, I had arranged for dinners for the union members for both Thanksgiving and Christmas as a special price.
Thus, on my desk was a solution. I call the CEO of Jewel and asked if I could add to the order = I wanted to provide the needy families in our area with Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinner. He was agreeable and he also wanted to join in the effort. It was not difficult to get a list of the needy families from the local religious organizations and thus on Christmas and Thanksgiving each needy family in the area had a little extra cheer – courtesy of Kiwanis. (Jewel made our dollars stretch so that everyone on the list got dinners).
Come the annual meeting I anticipated getting a ‘well done’ or some other praise. Indeed, I got what I deserved. Every charity had a representative at our meeting to complain about me, my arrogance, and the disrespect that I had shown them. Jack Pahl (the mayor of Elk Grove Village) fumed at the ungrateful bastards and started to say something but I silenced him. Instead, I got up and thanked the charities for their praise and promised them that I would endeavor to furnish them the items that appeared on their wish lists for the next year. At that they all walked out of the meeting. (Of course, they were back soliciting again the following year!) (I was reappointed by the club to my position for the next years).
The next year brought a new President to our club. For reasons unbeknownst to any of us he transferred to our club from another one and expressed a wish to be our leader. I am not certain what in particular he said but he was elected by acclamation! The next year was a virtual repeat of the previous year, except our New President admonished me before I got the opportunity to deliver my ‘thank you’ speech. This time the walkout was by about 3/4 of the membership. Our new president was the sole surviving member after the meeting.
The Charities could have cared less about the people they serviced – they wanted the money that Kiwanis and other individuals and organizations provided them. Delivery of tables, typewriters, office supplies etc meant that they actually had to service their client! Cash could be used to pay salaries, solicit money etc.
The catered dinners were delivered without a fanfare or publicity. Kiwanis did not want credit – the membership wanted to make some lives a little better – AND Kiwanis DID.
That foregoing events ought to have prepared me for the professional guardianship for profit scam. It did not. I did not learn from history and I met the elder cleansers! The jurists who conspire with the elder cleansers are as venal as any of the miscreants and their and their cohorts ought to go to jail.
I noticed that in today’s Wall Street Journal the following article, to wit:
Four Cancer Charities Accused of Fraud
Civil suit alleges ‘sham charities’ took more than $187 million from donors
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett announces a federal lawsuit against four cancer charities on Tuesday in Knoxville, Tenn. PHOTO: MICHAEL PATRICK/KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL/ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 19, 2015 3:22 p.m. ET
The Federal Trade Commission, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have filed a civil suit against four connected cancer charities and four people running them, accusing them of bilking more than $187 million from donors from 2008 to 2012.
The Cancer Fund of America Inc., based in Knoxville, Tenn.; Cancer Support Services Inc., based in Washington; Children’s Cancer Fund of America Inc., based in Powell, Tenn.; and the Breast Cancer Society Inc. of Mesa, Ariz., were all described as “sham charities” in the 148-page civil complaint, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
The complaint named as defendants James Reynolds Sr., James Reynolds II, and Rose Perkins—who are related—as well as an associate, Kyle Effler. It stated the four “have engaged in a massive, nationwide fraud, telling generous Americans that their contributions will help people suffering from cancer, but instead, spending the overwhelming majority of donated funds supporting the Individual Defendants, their families and friends, and their fundraisers.”
The organizations raised money as charities, but were instead “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation,” according to the complaint.
The complaint states the group leaders spent money to hire family and friends and buy cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition and even dating site memberships.