Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Can You Believe: Another Troubled Cancer Charity

by Gary Snyder

The website for the Miracle Match Foundation says the charity charter was approved last year, giving it tax-exempt status. Apparently that is not true.

After it filed its 2004 financial statement six years late, the IRS revoked Miracle Match's non-profit status in 2010. According to its 2004 financial statements filed with the IRS, Miracle Match was able to spend only $3,616 on "sick kids/family support" and nothing for research, while listing a negative balance of $377,000 for that year. 

Even without a favorable IRS ruling, the organization put on three events last year, featuring players including Pete Sampras, Chris Evert, Mats Wilander, Todd Martin and Andy Roddick. But Roddick allegedly didn’t get paid because the checks that were sent by the charity bounced. Roddick claims the charity continues to use his likeness on its website as of late in February.

Miracle Match was founded by in 1997 by Grand Rapids tennis pro Bill Przybysz, a former tennis player, after he was diagnosed with leukemia. He says he beat leukemia. Przybysz filed for bankruptcy in 2010. In 2010 the trustee managing his bankruptcy moved to force a debtor examination of Przybysz because he believes he "has not been forthcoming or has been inconsistent about" his financial affairs. The trustee is trying to find out where all the money went and suspects some loans were repaid "on fraudulent terms." Still his bankruptcy filings listed the foundation as a co-debtor and is listed in one of 14 lawsuits in which his petition says there are either cases pending or judgments granted against him. 

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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