Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed earlier this year against Queen Anne Victorian Mansion LLC. The stipulated judgment requires the mansion's operators to pay $31,250 to four charities named in event promotions, and $15,000 to be used to conduct educational programs relative to nonprofit activities. That sum represents the investigation and attorney fees of the Department of Justice.
"When a for-profit entity represents that proceeds from an event or product sale will be donated to charity, the law requires the entity to actually make the donation," Myers said.
Since 1995, Queen Anne Victorian Mansion has produced holiday events entitled the Miracle of a Million Lights. The Department of Justice complaint was filed in July 2001. The complaint alleged that from 1996 to 2000, despite representations that admissions proceeds would be donated to four designated charities, little to no proceeds were actually contributed to the specified organizations.
Additionally, corporate sponsorships were negotiated with the understanding that the event would produce significant charitable contributions. For example, Home Depot contributed $15,000 per year in cash plus materials and volunteer labor to the holiday event. As the agency responsible for protecting Oregon's charitable assets, the Department of Justice acts to ensure that such contributions are used for legitimate charitable purposes.
As part of the stipulated judgment, the defendants have agreed to the following payments:
$8,500 to Our House of Portland
$8,500 to Camp UKANDU
$7,750 to Doernbecher Children's Hospital
$6,500 to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
$15,000 to the Justice fund for nonprofit education
The owners and operators of the mansion, Patricia Reed, Timothy Reed, Mary Kathlynne McKibben and John McKibben, have also agreed to limit their involvement with charitable events in the future. The agreement does not preclude the holiday production as long as it is not characterized as a charity event.
"The Charitable Activities Section will continue to act vigilantly to ensure the legitimacy of any claims of charitable contributions made by for-profit organizations," Myers said.
Victoria Cox, (971) 673-1880