LAS VEGAS – Donation money from a 1 October benefit concert is missing, so people involved with the event are demanding answers. Proceeds from a raffle were promised to “The Children of the 58” foundation.
The non-profit raises college money for the kids of the parents killed during the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre. It occurred on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 1, 2017.
The “Country 58” concert was held late last October, but now, almost two and half months later, it remains a mystery where that money is and just exactly how much money was raised.
“It’s not in tune but its very cool,” said Sue Ann Cornwell about one of her “prized possessions,” which was a guitar she bid on and won in the Country 58 raffle.
Cornwell is a1 October survivor. The guitar she won was signed by country music duo Big and Rich.
She purchased $100 worth of tickets in an effort to win the raffle. She said she had the impression that all proceeds were going to the “Children of the 58” foundation.
But as of Friday morning, nothing had been handed over to the non-profit created by the family of a single mother killed during 1 October.
“It’s really disheartening because you know — you like — you think that everyone is true to their word,” said Cornwell.
Concert organizers tell me they hired an event director to oversee the raffle and vendors. They claim the woman, Sarah Summers, sent them a text message a day after the concert saying the raffle money was going directly to the organization’s founder.
Joe and Valerie Yankus donated five autographed guitars for the raffle.
“When I was talking to the people that were in charge of the fund they said they never received the money from the original raffle,” Yankus said.
They live in Connecticut but flew to Las Vegas to attend the benefit concert.
A couple of weeks ago, after learning about the missing money, they reached out to a volunteer at the event who made a post on Facebook, claiming she wasn’t getting answers from Summers.
“It was for the children; that’s the most upsetting part,” said Yankus.
In a phone call, Summers told 8 News NOW Reporter Karen Castro she gave an envelope with a little over $2,000 in cash to a manager with the company that hired her. But she wouldn’t name the person or say why she gave them the money.
“I thought that was kind of low because I raised $3,400 just with the one Jake Owen guitar I had,” Yankus said.
Summers told Castro during the phone call that she considered the money a loss and was handing over a check in the same amount to make up for it.
“All we can do is pray and hope that she does that; that she makes it right to benefit the kids that lost more than any of us can ever imagine by losing a parent,” said Cornwell.
Summers told Castro, she attempted to deliver the check to the owners of the company that hired her, but they refused to take it.
The owners said they were being asked to sign a “release of liability” form, so instead, they asked to give the check directly to the non-profit.
Late Friday afternoon 8 News NOW checked the organization’s GoFundMe account, and there is a donation for $2,020 from Sarah Summers.