Wednesday, May 16, 2012
SMArt has one final financial gift it must bestow.
The nonprofit organization formerly known as Friends of the MACC was a holding ground and pass-through for money donated in memory of Karen Shropshire, the late director of the Mountain Arts Community Center who was integral in getting it established as a resource for the local community.
That money is “protected” in a separate account, according to Paul Hendricks, president of the now-defunct group that has already zeroed out all its other accounts.
Hendricks said he has a meeting scheduled with Shropshire’s family to determine what to do with the funds.
“The arrangement was with us and the family,” he said. “We will do whatever the family wants us to do with that. We’ve been waiting to hear back from them.”
The money was originally earmarked to help fund tuition costs for mountain residents who could not otherwise afford the offerings at the center.
Financial records from May 31, 2011 provided by former Friends of MACC board member Colleen Laliberte show $1,530 had been donated to the cause, although Laliberte and Hendricks said that number could be closer to $2,000. Those same documents also show a $202.53 year-to-date disbursement from the fund.
According to MACC Director Barb Storm, no scholarships have been issued through the fund.
“That money needs to come back,” said Laliberte. “It had a very special purpose and people gave money for that specific purpose in her memory. It was clearly marked from the time that fund was created after Karen’s death … to be used for the scholarship fund.”
“Every part of that fund will go for what it was donated and intended for. That fund is something we have great respect for,” said Hendricks. “No money was ever taken out to my knowledge. That’s probably just an accounting thing. How [then-treasurer Ken Gross] assigned things was always hard for me to follow.”
Gross said the scholarship funds were “restricted funds being held” when he exited the board last Sept. 30 and he could not recall what, if anything, the $202 had been used for.
“Anything the board authorized would've been paid out, but I don't recall any transactions,” he said.