Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that applications for $120,000 in Children's Education Grants are now available to non-profit, charitable and governmental groups with programs that benefit children by providing books, toys and other educational materials.
The grants are possible, due to Oregon's participation in national, multi-state antitrust settlements in 1998 and 1999 totaling $50 million in cash and toys with national retailer Toys "R" Us and toy manufacturers Mattel, Hasbro and The Little Tikes Company. This resulted in Oregon receiving, over a period of four years, toys worth more than $389,000 and approximately $150,000 in cash for children's programs.
"There is nothing more satisfying than being able to support such a worthwhile grant program with monies from a hard-fought court settlement," Myers said.
Program details and grant applications are available online at http://www.doj.state.or.us/hot_topics.htm or by calling the Attorney General's Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection section at (503) 378-4732. The grant money is designated for educational programs that benefit children.
Grant applications must be received by the Department of Justice by July 27, 2001, and will be reviewed by a five-person, voluntary advisory committee appointed by Attorney General Myers. The committee will provide recommendations to Attorney General Myers, who will announce the twelve, $10,000 grant recipients by October 25, 2001.
The last four years distribution of settlement monies has included toys being evenly delivered during the holiday seasons throughout the state. The 2000 holiday toy distribution included the additional awarding of $20,000 grants to the Oregon Children's Foundation S.M.A.R.T. program of Portland and Libri Foundation of Eugene. This year's awarding of $120,000 in Children's Educational Grants will end the disbursement of settlement agreement monies.
The 1998 and 1999 settlements resolved a lawsuit filed in 1997 by the Attorneys General of 44 states alleging that the defendants conspired for more than 10 years to withhold popular toys from low margin warehouse clubs that undercut Toys "R" Us prices. As a result of these illegal agreements between the manufacturers and the retailer, warehouse clubs could not compete in price with Toys "R" Us and consumers paid more for the toys.
Organizations wanting more information on the Children's Education Grant Program may call Maggie Ross or Melissa Curtis at (503) 378-4732. Information on this and other consumer protection actions is online at www.doj.state.or.us by calling the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392.
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