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United Way of Metropolitian, Inc., Dallas, TX

United Way cuts Scout funds

The Dallas Morning News
Published Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Received from Lexis-Nexis Thursday, April 5, 2001

United Way cuts Scout funds;
The Dallas Morning News
Tuesday, April 3, 2001

The Dallas Morning News
April 3, 2001, Tuesday THIRD EDITION
LENGTH: 694 words
HEADLINE: United Way cuts Scout funds; drop follows admission that troop rolls were overstated
SOURCE: Staff Writer
BYLINE: Todd Bensman

Summarized Article

The United Way of Metropolitian Dallas has decreased its funding of the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the first such reduction in many years. The United Way cut their funding of the Corcle Ten Council by more than 20%. Representatives of the United Way of Metro Dallas say that the reason for the cuts is the decrease in the number of minority and inner-city youth being served by the Boy Scouts in that council.

The United Way made their decision in part based on information they received as a result of a mail fraud investigation involving the Circle Ten Council. The POstal Service is reviewing the membership rolls of the council in an effort to prove that the council kept "ghost" members and troops on their rolls in order to ask for donations to fund them. After the investigation became public, the United Way asked for a separate account from the Cirlce Ten regarding its current membership.

Wright Lassiter III, chairman of United Way's allocations process, said the volunteer panel that considers funding requests was concerned about how few at-risk children the council is now able to serve.

"I would say the supporting information they provided the panel with didn't justify a $ 1.2 million request," Mr. Lassiter said. "The panel wasn't convinced that what they saw from this organization was as compelling as it was in the past."

Most recent membership counts show that since the audits, more than 12,000 Scouts in traditional Cub pack and Scout troop programs had been dropped from Circle Ten rolls. Internal documents show a high percentage of the dropped members and troops - as high as 40 percent in some areas - came from predominantly minority neighborhoods.

After the investigation, Circle Ten leaders announced a number of internal membership counting checks and balances and recruiting changes.

Mr. Lyle said he hoped the investigation would end soon because it had caused anxiety among Circle Ten staff, Scouts and contributors.

"It can be debilitating to an organization," he said. "The people at Circle Ten have really rallied to help keep the focus on kids. I would like for it to be resolved and go away so that this distraction is not there at the back of their minds."




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