My daughter has just graduated from this program. Every year, these special individuals give these special kids a chance to attend a prom. Limos, formal clothing and a wonderful dinner is donated by local merchants. They have a grand march, where each child is announced by name. Deejay music and dancing fill the cleverly decorated gym . . .Is the timing of this editorial coincidence? Or is the OD trying to manipulate public sentiment, engendering sympathy for NFPs and opposition to the user fee proposal (not that the proposal does not have significant flaws)?
What we don't get from the OD is any reporting about what Tradewinds is.
A visit to Guidestar.org indicates that there is a Tradewinds Foundation, Inc., with a New Hartford mailing address, that provides
programs for handicapped and developmentally challenged individuals (primarily youths) and at-risk children, located in New York State, Florida, California and Maryland. The Charity's programs consisted of developmental activities for children and adults in need of special training . . .The 2006 Federal Form 990 is interesting reading. According to the 990 on pages 35 and 39/44, the purpose of the foundation was to support various programs of United Cerebral Palsy and another NFP that work with children and adults, including the Tradewinds Special Education Center in Utica. I say "was" because further reading indicates that the organization was winding down operations (which involved boating operations of some sort). Officer compensation "from related organizations" was $322,694 for one officer, $112,347 for another, $53,099 for a third (the last figure still more than double the income of the median household in Utica, p. 23-4/44).
Not bad for officers of "charitable" organizations. Of course, these people I'm sure do much more than put on proms, because they are involved with related interlocking organizations that do many other things . . . but with such generous compensation packages, one has to wonder why such organizations would not be able to pay fees to Utica to clear the snow or repair the sidewalks at their Utica facilities.