Monday, September 17, 2007

Ripping Off Veterans

There is something I have wanted to post about for over a month now, but I've been waiting to see how things are going to pan out. I'm still not sure, but I've been so angry over this, I just gotta go with it.

There is a man who makes his living, in large part, to supplying service organizations with patriotic shirts and hats, pictures, football gear for raffles, etc. Since Desert Storm he has made a very good living doing this. He sells to VF*n*Ws all over Illinois and Wisconsin.

This summer, he said he wanted to put on a fundraiser in appreciation for all the business we had provided him with, the proceeds going to Veterans Affairs Volunteer Services (VAVS). A very nice idea, we all thought. So dozens of us from various Posts across the state bought tickets to this show, an Elvis impersonator.

When Old Sarge and I got there, the reserved table we paid an extra $100 for was not available. The items they had displayed for raffles were CRAP! Or at least, I do not consider a buy one, get one half off drink coupon at some restaurant I would never go to anyway much of a bargain. We ended up at a table in the back of the room with our backs to the stage. It was Pathetic.

Now, two weeks ago, word leakes out from another VFW that this man had said that he went in the hole, there would be no money for VAVS.

Bullshit detectors went off all over.

For starters, several VFW members talked to the impersonator to see how much he usually charges, in case there came a time someone needed entertainment. He gave out his fee, but also said that he was making this appearance free for VAVS. So that was $2500-$3000 that was NOT an expenditure.

And as I said, the raffle table was CRAP. There couldn't have been a big expense there, and like alot of people, we still bought raffle tickets just because it was a fundraiser.

So at $15 per person with over 300 people, the hall is free, the entertainmemt is free, minimal expenditure on raffles- where in the hell did the money go?

My Post invited him to a board meeting to explain why there was no money for VAVS. Old Sarge said there was alot of screaming and finger-pointing and it's-everyone's-fault-but-mine and in the end, he got hisself barred from selling anything to our Post ever again.

Since then, he called a meeting at one of the bigger VFWs up north (which is not protocol, he is not a member) and threw the same tantrum, and called the commander of another Post an idiot.

Folks, I work benefits or fundraisers at least every six months, and I am usually the one who keeps track of the money. We KNOW the night of an event what we have made. This is a man that either by design or incompetence has taken money intended for our veterans and done who-knows-what with it.
I have heard that our Department Officers will be investigating.

Normally I am not a vengeful person-

Oh who am I kidding??!! I am furious over this.

His name is Joe Goyak.


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