Thanks to reader Mike for Eleanor Yang Su and Brent Schrotenboer's story about the controversy brewing over some San Diego nonprofits providing volunteers to run concession stands at the U.S. Open and receiving far less for their services than they expected.
All I could think when reading this is what a great scam the concession operator (Prom) has here! Get non-profits to staff your operation and make a lowball contribution to charity.
The nonprofits say they hustled for months to line up thousands of volunteers, some of whom took days off work to sell hot dogs, brownies and beer at the tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Those volunteers ended up making the nonprofits about $7 an hour.
That's less than the state minimum wage, and far less than what some nonprofits expected, based on figures they said were provided by the caterer, Minnesota-based Prom Management Group.
Prom, which has contracted with the U.S. Golf Association to run concessions at the past nine U.S. Opens, collected about $3.8 million at the event before expenses. The nonprofits got about $257,400, which Prom called a record payout.Buried but definitely bizarre...
Some nonprofits said they were further confused when the checks they received bore the name of the Century Club, a nonprofit that puts on the annual Buick Invitational golf tournament at Torrey Pines.
Tom Wilson, Century Club's executive director, said his organization received no benefit from distributing the money, and simply did so because it was asked.
Johnson, Prom's controller, said the company hopes to be awarded a Buick contract in the future, and allowed the Century Club to disperse the money with a letter soliciting fundraising volunteers.
The idea, she said, was “to show (the community and the Century Club that) Prom gave $257,000 back to the San Diego community. Look what they did for the U.S Open, look what they could do for the Buick and San Diego community.”