There have been a few 'comments' from previous blogs and I have received a few emails from the "pod people" concerning just how much money the Sadler Foundation actually raises and specifically at a recent 'Barn Party' event. Which frankly, got me thinking after the other fundraising events and what could be perceived to be a strong attempt at deception, I did a little digging.
But first, let me say that I am not doubting one bit, not one iota, that the money the Sadler Foundation raised is not used for the good of "LOCAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER CHARITIES" as they officially and legally claim.
I am not claiming any type of fraud or mis-use of said money either. (That can be saved for another time, if applicable) However, there does seem to be a problem with 'public claims and PR statements' of just how much money is raised and how much money is actually claimed on legal documents. And yes, this includes the now infamous, 'FIRE-SHIRT' auction and the rants that followed.
So lets take a short look at the 'Barn Party', according the 'Jayski' the Barn Party raised '$30,000'. (and I remember when 'fan appreciation days' was a free event to the Sadler fans. I guess times have changed)
Sadler Fan Club Party Raises $30,000: Elliott, Hermie and the Sadler family hosted 1,000 Sadler fans at the Sadler Barn on Thursday evening prior to the race at Richmond International Raceway. Elliott and Hermie were joined by special guests Blake Shelton and Dale Jarrett. The agenda for the evening included bologna burgers, autographs, photo opportunities, viewing of Elliott's famous hunting dogs and a concert by country music artist Blake Shelton. The Sadler Fan Club Barn Party raised over $30,000 for the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation.(Sadler PR)(9-9-2006)
Doing some quick math and a bit of speculation (the amount of time alloted for 'vip autographs), that comes up to around 200 'VIP' patrons ($50 a ticket) and 800 non 'VIP' tickets. Now on the surface this sounds like a great event for the Foundation and everyone involved. But was the $30K figure really the amount of money that the Foundation will be given the opportunity to spend as they see fit? Or is it just another 'Sadler/Griffin' ruse? The answer to that question, is something that only time, a public accountant in South Hill, Va, and Bell Sadler (treasurer of the foundation) will tell. But rest assured, people are 'watching.'
Now lets flashback a couple of years to the 'Race for Hope'. A wonderful time had by all participants in which the Sadler 'PR Machine' claimed to raise $86,400. As seen by the 'FORD RACING QUOTES' from Fordracing.com.
"Elliott Sadler announced this week his Race for Hope charity event raised a total of $86,400. The proceeds from the May event will go to the Autism Society of America and the Victory Junction Gang Camp."
Now with the greatness of the internet (thanks Al Gore) and watch dog groups like www.guidestar.org, one can actually see what Foundations and other charity groups actually claim on their previous years 'Form 990' Federal Income Tax Forms as required by any "501(c)(3)" charity group.
So what did the Sadler Foundation claim for their line item earmarked for the 'Race for Hope' in 2004? The answer lies on 'page 6' line item '93b' of the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation's tax returns. The actual dollar amount claimed was "$63,778". A difference of $22,622.00, and being the Accountant that I am, THIS is an un-acceptable variable percentage and general accounting practices and would never come close to getting by an auditor. While actually claiming 73% of the gross is a nice figure, the DECEPTION is abounding. Just as the 'Shirt Auction' (self admitted of only 'up to 50% by Brett), and the DECEPTIONS that can be associated with that.
So, did the 'Barn Party', really raise $30,000 for the Foundation? Maybe...Maybe not. If you choose to stick your head in the sand, go right ahead, but I for one will continue to question these claims mainly because of the source (the Spotter/PR manager) and history.
But really, you should look for yourself, and start with Guidestar.org, register, and do some soul searching yourself. I did, and we can thank Mr. Griffin for that, as he chose to ignore a few simple questions. Now the whole Sadler Family (both Elliott and Hermie are listed as president and vice-president and Bell as the treasurer) are implicated because of Brett's failures.
Is the Sadler Foundation a worthy organization? Probably so. But with a PR spoke person who is willing to deceive and dupe the public (much less the Sadler faithful) in order to make the organization and his driver 'look good' at all costs, a huge mistake is being made in terms of accountabilty
The saga continues