_____________________________________________________________

There is only ONE Oklahoma
SOONERS
______________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just stick your head in the sand, part IV

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

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, what you are saying is, that the information was public, and yet the officers of the foundation would not divulge the same information?

Somethink smells a bit fishy here!

Anonymous said...

The Blogger won't say it, but I am thinking someone is getting some nice pay-checks over this events.

Yes, its smells fishy

Anonymous said...

Dont forget the T-shirt dollars from the party. Where did that money go?

Anonymous said...

Once again, you just get the feeling that the Sadler Organization, feel they are superior to everyone else and can get away with anything. No explanations necessary from them. I do tend to agree with another on here that "someone" is getting a nice little "side" pay check. It appears to me that the Sadlers really do think everyone else is just plain stupid! I have been to various other drivers boards and for the majority all their fundraising or charity donations are 100% of the money raised. Why?? don't the Sadlers do the same thing! Why do they feel the need to "hide" things and announce sums raised as one thing but claim another, how do they account to the government for the extra $22,000. When it comes to charities, I feel no stone should be unturned in order to make sure the proper amount of money (100%) is donated to them. Why don't they answer questions when asked in a polite and very well laid out premise? This just smells of rotten fish or dead carcasses. These high and mighty should be held accountable, especially in a family run business. The amount of money raised is not what I base my opinion on, I base it on that whatever is raised it is ALL donated to the charities. I am sure that the Sadlers feels that "the more money" they raise makes them look better in peoples eyes, however, if they hide things and claim less, and shill bid etc. it just makes them look worse than "slum landlords", or "charity shysters", looking for a way to make money(for their own pockets)and yet continuing to appear as great supporters of charities.....an investigation really needs to be carried out on these people.

shame on the Sadlers!! Where did the Business Manager get his degree, from a box of crackerjack!!

Anonymous said...

I am not doubting the discrepancies you pointed out.

But could you also provide documentation of other drivers' charities and how they distribute and account for the money that they have raised? Possibly as an example of how you think a driver's foundation SHOULD be run?

On the surface, a $20,000.00+ difference in what they say in the press and what they claim on their taxes does seem unusual, but surely it must cost the Sadler family something to run their foundation and to plan their fundraisers?

okla21fan said...

I rarely respond to comments, however an exception will be made this time.

The answer to your question of 'expenses' to the Foundation can be seen in the Form 990 link I provided. On page 7 (or 'Statement 1-Form 990,Part II, Line 43 - Other Functional Expenses') All the expenses accrued for the Calender year of '04 are listed. The 'Race For Hope' sited $9506.00 as 'expense', subtracted from the $63K. So one could say that the 'Race for Hope' raised even less money when one accounts for expenses as the Form 990 shows.

As for other driver's foundations and how the work, like I said in the blog, go register at www.guidestar.org and see for yourself. I will say that I have been involved in numorous Foundations in one capacity of another, and no two are the same as far as how they are run.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just saw Tony Stewarts! WTG, Tony!

Anonymous said...

If no two foundations are run the same, why is how the Sadler family run their's so offensive to you?

No doubt, Elliott's Manager is not the most capable. He's a childhood friend, what can you do?

But just because they say in a Press Release that they raised X-amount of money doesn't mean they actually DID raise that amount.

Now, if you were to say that what they actually donated to the charity was LESS than what they claimed they donated on their taxes, that would be a different story.

But I don't think you're saying that.

If the problem that you have with this particular Sadler incident is the fact that the dollar amount on a Press Release does not match the dollar amount on their taxes, why in the world are you putting so much stock in a Press Release?

I'm not trying to start a fight, but c'mon... it's a PRESS RELEASE!

It's not the truth, it's not fact and it most certainly is not a legally binding document.

Anonymous said...

The way the Sadlers run theirs is offensive to me because....they are dishonest!

You say:" No doubt, Elliott's Manager is not the most capable. He's a childhood friend, what can you do?"

Answer: BOOT HIS ASS OUT!!


You say:" But just because they say in a Press Release that they raised X-amount of money doesn't mean they actually DID raise that amount."

Answer: ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF DISHONESTY, WHY SAY ONE THING, BUT THEN SHOW ANOTHER, WHY EMBELLISH??

You say: "It's not the truth"

Answer: well not much about the Sadlers appears to be truth.

One of the points being that when doing a fundraiser, most people will say "100% to goes to the charity" or "50%" or whatever, NOT A "PORTION".....that is indescript, and vague and lets the person holding the fundraising function the opportunity to do some very creative bookkeeping. A "PORTION" indicates that "whatever is leftover after we all get our piece of the pie"

and that is 2 cents, all 100% of it!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to start a fight, but c'mon... it's a PRESS RELEASE!

It's not the truth, it's not fact and it most certainly is not a legally binding document.


Just like most of Sadler's Press Releases this year. Not truth, not fact, and not legally binding!

Anonymous said...

By the way, your comment that the Business Manager was a childhood friend was off the mark. They did not meet up until the Driver was in his rookie year when Elliott was driving for Citgo.

Anonymous said...

Every other driver when they do a charity function are always clear and state "ALL proceeds will go to the charity". Every other driver except Elliott.

Anonymous said...

" Every other driver when they do a charity function are always clear and state "ALL proceeds will go to the charity"...

And does what they say will go to the charity actually go to the charity? You make these claims, but where are the examples?

I'm not defending the Sadlers, and I have found the research you have done to be enlightening.

But if you aren't going to present a well-rounded argument... meaning one with concrete examples, NOT about the Sadlers, that back up your point... you end up sounding like a 'Fatal Attraction'-like fan scorned.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should do your own research to prove the blogger wrong!

Anonymous said...

I agree, On one hand you state that the blogger has done his research and you found it enlightening, and yet on the other hand you would like the blogger to do more work for you.

You should be finding your own examples to prove the other point, if that is what you really want to know. The blogger has shown you facts, done his research, shown you emails etc all proving his point, and yet you want him to provide you with more, and for him to do more work for you........beginning to sound like a request from one of the Sadlers.

you said: "you end up sounding like a 'Fatal Attraction'-like fan scorned", now that sounds like experience speaking.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should do your own research to prove the blogger wrong

I'm not the one accusing the Sadlers, he is... burden of proof and all.

This particular argument is very one-sided and very personally driven... making it very difficult to take seriously, regardless of how valid the points in the argument are.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you won't bother to make an effort to refute it, then perhaps you already know that you CAN'T refute it!

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to refute your argument... I recognize all the research that you have presented as being valid.

My point is: the argument would be helped with other examples that do not involve the Sadlers that also back up your argument.

Otherwise, the argument looks like just a personal grievance and could easily be dismissed as such.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not trying to refute your argument"

"the argument"
"Otherwise, the argument"

WHAT ARGUMENT?? I don't see one, I see plenty of factual elements here, backed up by correspondence, web links, articles etc. There is no argument.

However, if you would like to prove your point by doing your own research and showing us examples, then I might actually believe you don't want an argument.

Thought at first you might be Brett, Elliott or even Hermie, but you used too many BIG WORDS.....for any of them.

Let's see your research examples.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not trying to refute your argument"...

Dude, paranoia is not a good color on you.

Sorry for the semantics mistake... please replace 'argument' with whatever word you think appropriate.

If you don't think presenting alternative examples will help, then don't give any. Continue doing what you've been doing.

JEFF said...

I love it! Now we are told that "press releases" are not the truth and should be discounted. Pass some of that Kool-aid this way!

But it seems much of the premise the blogger uses is that the Sadler PR machine is not truthful in the first place. In your attempt to defend Sadler, you have actually helped proove the blogger's point.

Anonymous said...

Phil:

Since semantics have become quite the issue here, please allow me to point out a few linguistic gaffe’s I’ve observed. In an Official Press Release on the Ford Motorsports website it states:

SADLER’S RACE FOR HOPE SUCCESSFUL, AGAIN
7/14/2004
Emporia, Va. — 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.
“Race for Hope was a big hit with the fans, the media and the NASCAR drivers that participated,” said Sadler. “I know the Autism Society of America and The Victory Junction Gang Camp are happy with the results.”
More than 3,000 fans were in attendance on May 25 to watch Sadler, brother Hermie Sadler, Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Sterling Marlin, Michael Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Casey Mears race against fans and sign autographs at the NASCAR SpeedPark in Concord, N.C. Fans were also given the opportunity to attend private dinners with select drivers for up close and personal fan experiences – the experience of a lifetime for some fans.
“I've had several public appearances since we held the event and all of the fans are still raving over how much fun they had at Race for Hope,” Sadler continued. “Some of the people who ate dinner with drivers said it was the closest they have ever been to a NASCAR driver.
“I’m so thankful to have such great friends and competitors in the NASCAR family and that we were able to provide such a good experience for the fans. I am thankful for a sponsor like M&M'S who supports me on and off the track and of course the NASCAR Speedpark for hosting the event. The Outback Steakhouse, Coca-Cola and the Ace & TJ Morning Show in based in Charlotte, N.C., were all great supporters as well. Without everyone’s help the event would not have been possible.”
One of the evening’s highlights was when both Sadler’s were awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Autism Society of America for their hard work and dedication to the cause through the years.
“Everyone knows that autism is close to my heart because of my niece Halie Dru,” Sadler said. “I have been working to raise awareness for this puzzling disorder and see it as a personal cause. I'm also a big supporter of what Kyle and Patti Petty have done with the Victory Junction Gang Camp. They had a dream and made it a reality - and in turn will help so many chronically ill children live out their dreams.
”Events like Race for Hope allow race fans to have fun and meet drivers but more importantly to raise awareness and funding for some worthy causes. I'd like to send my personal thanks to everyone that attended and was involved to make it a success.”
Contributed by Sadler Racing News Bureau


You will notice that the first paragraph plainly states: “Elliott Sadler announced this week his Race for Hope charity event raised a total of $86,400.” (emphasis added). It does NOT state that the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation raised $86,400, rather it indicates the EVENT raised this sum for charity.

As you can see, the press release mentions the other drivers in attendance at the event: Richard Petty, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Sterling Marlin, Michael Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Darrell Waltrip, Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., and Casey Mears. Many of these individuals have created their own Foundations benefiting various charities such as the Victory Junction Gang Camp and American Autism Society. As an accountant, I’m sure you are aware that funds earmarked for and raised PRIOR to the event may have been collected and subsequently reported by any number of of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, depending upon the entity who solicited and accepted such funds.

As it is not known whether each of these individuals/entities transferred/donated funds to the Sadler Foundation for further distribution to charities, or whether they made direct contributions via their own organizations (and subsequently reported same as income on Form 990), it is simply irresponsible and malicious to level accusations of impropriety at the Sadler Foundation before fully investigating all the facts.

Further semantically speaking, it is obvious that your aversion to the Sadlers, as individuals, as organizations, and by extension to their employees and staff is not limited to questions of legal import. Taken as a whole, your blog seems clearly to be an amateur attempt at character assassination, encouraged by the perceived support of a cadre of similarly malicious and uneducated hangers on.

To those who espouse further research, Guidestar will also show that Elliott Sadler Enterprises has donated to charities CONSIDERABLY more than the ~$22,000 you contend is absent in reporting. Strangely, I have not seem Mr. Griffith making Press Releases each time Elliott and/or Hermie Sadler, or their respective families make charitable contributions, which judging by their amounts would prove newsworthy indeed.

Finally, your Open Records requests (a/k/a emails to Brett & Sean) are vague, ambiguous, and poorly worded at best. Ending a request for information with "Your response is pending" implies acknowledgement and/or confirmation of anticipated receipt and would likely be construed as an inflammatory electronic communique, rather than a legal public information request. As you seem to be so thorough, have you tried the old "Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested" method of requesting information, or is that too much work?

You are tripping a fine line, Phil, and I suggest you discontinue your online witch hunt and refer your suspicions to legal counsel, who I am certain would advise you not to parade your misplaced angst in front of the public. Your knowledge of 1st Amendment law is sketchy, at best, and you would be well served to contact someone like Vic Feazell prior to making any further accusations of charitable impropriety or managerial incompetence. All IMHO, of course.

Bob, Vicksburg, MS said...

A Anonymous pod person attacking the messenger, thats a laugh right there! And it looks like the blogger did indeed make an attempt to get information before hand, but was denied.

Gotta love the newbie pod people and the sketchy knowlege accusasion is ironic!

hook em!

Thurman1515 said...

So let me get this straight. this guy has to speculate because he asked questions to the CORRECT people and those questions were never addressed. Yet some anonymous war and peace comment does much of the same thing, and that is somehow okay?

Talk about setting a double standard here. Although your Vic Feazell comment was humorous, you must make a habit of following stupid people to even know who this clown is. Are you going to vote for Kinky as well?

Shovelhead79 said...

Ahh, no longer accepting anon posts, Phil?

Thanks to Thurman for making my point -- if a "clown" like Feazell can win a 1st Amendment defense libel suit resulting it the largest award in U.S. History ($58 mil), well..... I'll bet Belo thought he was "stupid", too.

As far as my politics are concerned, thanks for your inquiry, Thurman, but until I get an official request for disclosure from Phil, I'll keep my vote to myself.

Just curious, Phil, when Sadler's manager emailed you and invited you to speak with him regarding your concerns, why didn't you? If your reason(s) for investigating are as altruistic as you contend, why not speak to the guy?

DangerVoltage said...

WOW!! Someone obviously had very little to do today, and got very long winded.

First of all, I see nowhere that Phil or anyone else is accusing anyone of a misappropriation of funds, as you seem to allude. I believe that Phil actually made a statement stating that he was not doing that.

Now I have a question for you:

You stated:"You will notice that the first paragraph plainly states: “Elliott Sadler announced this week his Race for Hope charity event raised a total of $86,400.” (emphasis added). It does NOT state that the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation raised $86,400, rather it indicates the EVENT raised this sum for charity."


Hoops for Hope - that fundraiser money went directly to the Autism foundation and was not funnelled through the Sadler Foundation (as seen in those years Form 990's), YET, the race for hope money was funnelled through the Sadler Foundation....seems strange to me that you would put one through the Foundation and not the other.

It would appear that NO Expenses were claimed for the hoops for hope and yet there were for the race for hope......thereby, indicating to me that probably 100% of the proceeds were given in the Hoops for Hope, but not in the Race for Hope, wouldn't you agree? and according to your statement I believe you prove my point, why funnel it through the Sadler Foundation if THE EVENT raised the money??? In my opinion,when raising money for charity, "especially one so close to the heart" all the proceeds should be given, absorb the expenses, lots of others do!!

and WHO is Mr. Griffiths??

as for your little attempt at a(albeit veiled) threat in your final paragraph, you sound so much like Hermie Sadler, it boggles the mind......is he giving lessons?

You may suggest, you may advise, but you may also fly a kite!!

okla21fan said...

Susan,
Next time you might earn a bit more credibility if you use your established blogger ID: http://www.blogger.com/profile/14113164 I am not hiding, why do you choose to?

But to answer your question of why I didn't contact them by phone, the answer is very simple. That is not the legal protocal with requests such as that one. Futhermore, phone conversations like that cannot be documented. (that came from the BBB;s advice) You seem to take issue with my "public comments", thats interesting considering that Brett and company had ample opportunity to keep this 'private', but chose to take a different path.

Thurman1515 said...

Me thinks an SFCer just got busted. And to think, she questioned why the Blogger stopped allowing "Anonymous" commenting? Thats a giggle.

Shovelhead79 said...

I'm elated to see that my personal identity is of such interest. Sadly, the last time I posted here under my original blogger id, several "adversaries" from the thread saw fit to spam and flame on several of my non-racing related sites, and to copy unrelated text therefrom and post it completely out of context here. There's Cred for you!

While Phil and I obviously do not agree, I appreciate the fact that he solicits and accepts comments and does not see fit to "do battle" outside the battlefield that he, himself has created via this blog.

Enjoy your giggles!

Clementine said...

Ok then.....

IF you state:
You will notice that the first paragraph plainly states: “Elliott Sadler announced this week his Race for Hope charity event raised a total of $86,400.” (emphasis added). It does NOT state that the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation raised $86,400, rather it indicates the EVENT raised this sum for charity.

If the Elliott and Hermie Sadler Foundation did not have an interest in the Race for Hope event, then why were the funds listed on the tax form as a contribution?

And, I know for sure that funds were raised in other methods. For instance, the tax form lists ebay auctions. I remember those auctions. Perhaps the Business Manager does not remember them, as he stated earlier that "This is the FIRST auction on ebay that any of Elliott's representatives have managed and we have not had any problems!" (So, hallloooo Brett, was PR Amy NOT a representative of the Sadlers when she auctioned off a bunch of stuff on ebay for Race for Hope?)

I think some of the fans of Elliott are failing to see that he is only human. He certainly is not a walking talking diety that must be blindly followed. But, given that, he should understand that when you piss off a fan, that fan will rant long and loud about it. The business manager supposedly has a degree in Retail Administration, and one would think that he would understand the axiom of one angry customer telling ten others! And if a fan chooses to do some research to discredit the former 'hero', then shouldn't a real fan take the time and energy to disprove what is written? It is up to you. If you can prove Phil wrong, go for it. I don't think you will be able to, because it does not seem you are willing to do the research.

After all, he looks so HOT in that red and black firesuit!

Clementine said...

Actually, shovelhead, why don't you try to email Brett and ask for the information that Phil asked? I would be interested in seeing if they give it to you!

But then again, they ARE reading this blog. So they will probably realize that they have to answer.

DangerVoltage said...

Unfortunately Phil cannot control what others do off this blog, as I am sure you are aware. Some people can be infantile at times, however, the point is that you had a strong statement and yet hid behind being anonymous, there are times when you feel strongly about things, that you have to come out of hiding and take credit/consequences for what you are saying.

You said: "While Phil and I obviously do not agree, I appreciate the fact that he solicits and accepts comments and does not see fit to "do battle" outside the battlefield that he, himself has created via this blog."

Once again I ask you WHAT BATTLEFIELD??, you seem to be the only one who views this as a "battlefield", the points of view and comments I have read have pretty much been all civilized, whether in agreement with the blogger or not, no guns drawn, or showdowns at the ok corral....therefore, NO Battlefield, except perhaps in your own mind.

I agree with Clementine, you give it a go with Brett & co., see how far you get, although we know they read this blog religously, I still doubt you will get an honest answer. what happens in Sadlerville, stays in Sadlerville, is the way I see it.

Thurman1515 said...

I see the real crime here is not the speculation the blogger has resorted to, as that would not be needed had the PR guy just answered a few questions instead of ignoring and deflecting them. How anyone can defend that is beyond me.

Jamie said...

Dammit where's my Kool Aid

Buster21 said...

My understanding from earlier this year was that letters were written to attys general and consumer watchdog agencies who were going to investigate this situation, but I never heard any results. Did that not happen, or did they investigate?