November 10, 2012
I was have been a volunteer at the FCCO fundraising event, called Furball. It is a large even with bidding Auctions to raise money to fix cats. I have first hand knowledge of an illegal practice that is condoned by the Board and the Director at this event. What they do at this event is call "Shill Bidding." The Board members and key people bid on items without any intent on buying the items, it is just to run up the prices for the honest bidders. I was working at the Check Out Station during the auction and a very expensive painting with a retail value of probably $1000 came through but the person who WON the item wasn't going to pay for it. The person was the Board President Kris Ellingsen. She was bidding on the item only to run up the price for the other person who was bidding and wanted the item but she bid one too many times and got stuck with the item and she wasn't going to pay for it. I volunteered again the next year and was told by this one lady that they have seen this before and that all the "insiders" know about this. The Manager/Director, Karen gives signals to people of when to bid and when to stop. I wanted to continue to volunteer at the FCCO clinics so I wrote an anonymous letter to the Board expressing my displeasure about the unethical practices and they should apologize pubically to their supporters for thier behavior. To my knowlege they haven't done this. All of this is for the animals, but do they have to stoop to illegal and unethical practices that pose a negative light on them. I think they would do fine without all the secret bidders to defraud the honest ones. It makes people wonder what else do they do that is dishonest to the public. Those two women who run the organization really need move aside. At least I want other people to know about this and found this way to review a charity.
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MY ROLE:Volunteer Review from Guidestar