Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Do What We Do FOR YOU- No one else

Shocking news hit the airwaves today as a very large, local breast cancer organization was taken down because of fraud. They raised millions of dollars and none of it went to women with breast cancer. They spent every dime on raising more money for themselves and paying themselves huge salaries. Basically, they hijacked breast cancer to make a quick, sleazy buck.

As someone who has had breast cancer twice, let me tell you this makes me more sick than any chemo I ever did. As someone who runs a non profit organization for women with breast cancer on Long Island, I am doubly disgusted. If you knew how hard it is to raise any money, much less the millions these folks raised, you would understand.

The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation has  vital, legitimate programs that literally save women's lives. We also get women through their breast cancer in one, strong, self-advocating, hopeful piece.

I am writing today to let you know that we do not have salaries. We do not have expensive office space. We do not drive fancy cars. Why? Because we are doing this for you. One hundred percent of your donation dollar goes directly to the foundation's programs and helping women. We run a very tight ship and as the economy tanks even further and the donations are becoming more scarce for more and more charities, it is not easy to keep things running. BUT WE DO. Because we are committed to this cause and we believe in what we do. We know how many women we have helped and how many young women's lives may be saved by our Before Forty program.

I just wanted you to know that you can feel secure in supporting us because in reality, you are directly supporting women with breast cancer. And that is why we exist. For You.

LI breast cancer charity sued on misuse of donations
June 28, 2011 by TED PHILLIPS / ted.phillips@newsday.com
A Long Island charity that collected millions of dollars of donations spent almost none of it on the breast cancer services and research for which it raised the money, the State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged in a complaint filed Tuesday.

The St. James-based Coalition Against Breast Cancer spent most of its money on fundraising, according to the complaint, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court in Suffolk. Over the past five years the organization raised $9.1 million, but spent less than 4 percent, or $364,000, on charitable programs, the attorney general's office said.
Schneiderman charged the organization along with the for-profit fundraiser Campaign Center Inc. and key personnel with violations of state not-for-profit and charitable solicitation laws. The suit aims to shut the organization down.

"By using a charity as a personal cash machine, the Coalition Against Breast Cancer and Campaign Center shamelessly exploited New Yorkers' natural sympathies and generosity," Schneiderman said in a news release. "Instead of benefiting breast cancer victims and their families, millions of dollars were misused for personal benefit."

In 2009, the organization gave out $57,481 in grants, less the $73,500 salary of its director of development, Debra Koppleman, according to tax filings. That year the organization raised $1.5 million while spending $1.1 million on fundraising. The charity has been run out of the home of its treasurer, Andrew Smith, who was named in the suit along with Koppleman and Patricia Scott, a director at the organization.

The suit also names Garrett Morgan, the owner of Campaign Center, which Schneiderman said engaged in fraudulent fundraising tactics while keeping 85 cents of every dollar it raised. Morgan was an associate of nonprofit's founder and ran its fundraising operations, according to the attorney general's office.

Schneiderman alleges that Smith and Morgan launched the organization and its fundraising program together in 1995 and that it served them as a cash machine rather than help women with breast cancer.
A person answering the phone at the organization identified himself as Smith and hung up the phone when a reporter identified himself. Morgan declined to comment.

The organization has no connection with the Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer.

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