"It's unfortunate Mr. Curtis Benjamin was not aware of the effort I put into trying to make the event a success for Saving Our Daughters or overlooked the texts regarding the intended honoree. I spent over $10,000 dollars to make the charity event successful, in addition to making a personal donation from the event as well as forwarding any and all donations collected. I hope the focus can shift to the young girls and I wish the organization nothing but the best in the future."
She also did not state how much money she raised from the event beyond the personal $500 check she sent to Saving Our Daughters.
But it's very possible individuals who attended the charity event could have written individual checks to Saving our Daughters that may not have identified themselves as coming from this particular masquerade ball. So the charity may have received money from the event but didn't know it was from said event. Then again, wouldn't Moore collect those checks at the event (or have an automatic online donation set up) and bundle them all directly to Saving Our Daughters?
The party was taped several months ago and was shown on this past Sunday's "Real Housewives of Atlanta" episode. In it, NeNe Leakes was upset because she said she had not been informed she was going to be honored or even make a speech. Her speech was curt, to say the least.
Leakes has been a major supporter of the group, which (according to its website) "creates the tools to get teen girls discussing key issues and fired up to take the power away from bullying, (cyber, gossip, face-to-face,…), date abuse, hate crimes, school violence, violence against women, and other esteem slayers."
Here's the official statement to its supporters from Benjamin, founder and CEO of Saving Our Daughters:
On February 16, 2014, Saving Our Daughters was mentioned on the episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta as being honored with a fundraiser on its behalf.
Our charity was contacted by publicist April Love to get approval and give notice of this upcoming event. Much to our delight, we were indeed honored to be chosen. After all, one of our largest financial contributors, Mrs. NeNe Leakes who has been responsible for contributions in the thousands of dollars throughout the years, is a member of the cast. Days later, to our surprise Ms. Love did contact me and inform me that she had decided to terminate her company's involvement with this event. At that point, Ms. Moore contacted me to continue moving forward with the event as purposed and planned. This call took place a day before the event was scheduled to take place. Upon seeing the event unfold on TV, it was noticed that Ms. Kenya Moore stated that she was giving this charitable event in honor of Mrs. Leakes, with Saving Our Daughters as the recipient of the proceeds from the charity event. Honorees at this point were switched without our knowledge, but again, we are appreciative of any and all support for the organization. Had we been made aware that this fundraising event was in honor of Mrs. Leakes, we certainly would have been present with the plaques and certificates of appreciation that we currently have to present to Mrs. Leakes for her outstanding efforts and support for Saving Our Daughters. This would have been the perfect opportunity for us to honor her, as well.
We were not aware of this and it appears that Mrs. Leakes wasn't aware either. The light in which Saving Our Daughters was depicted was less than favorable. The organization received several calls from other supporters about our involvement in this event. They were extremely disappointed and felt that the organization was being taken advantage of. We go on record by stating that we at Saving our Daughters have never and will not ever be involved in any drive where the exact purpose is not clear, stated or held to with only approved changes. We would not ever jeopardize our continuing support from our friends by being a part of what appears to have been tainted from the start.
In closing, Ms. Kenya Moore stated that thousands of dollars were raised at this event. To protect the integrity of Saving Our Daughters, our records show that we did not receive any of the proceeds raised from Ms. Moore's masquerade ball. However, we do appreciate the contribution we did receive of $500 for our annual Christmas doll drive for children with cancer.
I decided to see if Saving Our Daughters is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization where people's donations can be tax deductible. The only Saving Our Daughters foundation listed in Dallas, GA had its exemption revoked last year for failure to file a required annual 990 tax form three years in a row, according to the IRS website.