Fundraising group fails to deliver big prize



Posted on February 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 24 at 12:09 PM

Tammy Brokaw is the winner of a nationwide fundraising contest.

"We went to businesses asking for money, I put on a concert in the downtown Bellevue park with five or six bands," she said.

The group that put on the fundraiser is called The Difference Maker Organization, out of Renton. They told kids the top contest fundraiser would get to meet the red hot teen group The Jonas Brothers, but months after raising $6,000 and winning the contest, Tammy's still waiting to meet the band.

"I feel like someone took advantage of me, I put in so much hard work and I feel like it all went to waste," said Tammy.

Tammy felt like she had been strung along. The contest was held last July, and during that month The Difference Maker Organization sent e-mails to remind the kids of the "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time with the Jonas Brothers." They also asked contestants to "go door to door" and "plan a last-minute car wash" to raise cash.

"Why would they say we're fine-tuning everything to go to California and donate this money?" asked Tammy.

Kandy Schendel is the person behind The Difference Maker Organization. I've learned she started the contest without any agreement from the Jonas Brother to meet the winner..

Kandy wasn't home when I stopped by, but she did send me an e-mail saying before the contest "we had a contact who we felt could easily make the connection between DMO [The Difference Maker Organization] folks and the Jonas Brothers, but our contact fell through."

That answer isn't not good enough for Tammy and it's not good enough for us.

Schendel also promised to give the net funds from the fundraiser to the Jonas Brothers' Change for the Children Foundation.

Of the $6,000 raised, $4,000 will go to Change for the Children, and The Difference Maker Organization will keep the rest to cover overhead and other programs.

That news really upset Tammy.

"You know, I don't regret doing all that hard work, but if it's not going to go to something that I thought it was, I feel like it wasn't really worth it," she said.

After hearing this story I called the Jonas Brothers' management company. They got back to me really fast and they will arrange a meeting between Tammy and the Jonas Brothers during their next tour.

Schendel says the contest rules state that any changes, deletions or additions to the fundraiser may be made at the sole discretion of the board of directors. Kandy also says she's still trying to get a hold of the group.

We'll make sure you'll get to see the meeting between Tammy and the Jonas Brother's when it happens.