Unfortunately, the uniqueness of how the last donation came about has
confused and upset people. No one has objected to financial gifts from
the Restaurant Association to selected nonprofit groups over the years.
People praise, not condemn, individual restaurants which turn over a
share of profits on a given day to civic groups, even to the point of letting
volunteers wait table. Those wine or beer tours set up to support private
sector charitable groups take place without serious opposition.
People are miffed both because of the way the latest donor was granted
a Special Event Permit and by the fact that the need for the ROOTS
Foundation itself (the former ACORN) is questionable. ACORN was set up
originally to provide a convenient and legal way for nonprofits which have
not yet acquired 501 C 3 status to pay expenses and to distribute funds
which they themselves have collected. The thought that ROOTS would
seek funds for itself -- apparently to allocate as it sees fit -- is bothersome.
Frank Versagi is the editor of Versagi Voice.