Chilliwack, BC – A shock to military veterans who were looking forward to a tribute weekend for wounded warriors.
So much for the Wounded Warriors Weekend at the end of July.
It’s been cancelled and the controversy starts.
FVN has learned that problems with securing a charity number for donations with CRA the Canadian Revenue Agency, became part of the problem. There’s plenty of social media finger-pointing. Then the bombshell… Wounded Warriors Canada Foundation distanced themselves from the WWW. After serious problems with the 2013 Nipawin, Saskatchewan event, the two organizations were distanced. That decision came from the National group.
Local volunteer organizers are looking at a legal opinion on what to do with monies donated. Seed monies will be returned to original donators.
One senior organizer who wants to remain anonymous has told FVN that they were left out of the loop in the decision which is shown below.
This is not just pocket change. The goal was a budget of $350,000, and now with thousands expected to be returned to the Province.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz was taken aback by the cancellation. There was supposed to be a veterans parade through the streets and ending at Prospera Centre.
Blake Emmons, the Founder and Director of the Weekend issued this statement which FVN has obtained:
Dear committee members,
I have met with the board members of Wounded Wounded Warriors Weekend Foundation regarding Bruce Pitt-Payne’s emails of July 2nd. It was our hope that my email of July 3rd would have elicited at least a phone call response. However, there were none forthcoming therefore the WWW Foundation can only ascertain that the question regarding our pending CRA number is an insurmountable challenge for all those concerned in Chilliwack.
The fact there has been no response and keeping in mind the integrity of all concerned, it is my unfortunate duty to inform everyone that we are officially cancelling Wounded Warriors Weekend 2015 in Chilliwack.. as of this date July 4,2015.
We will dutifully inform Laurie Throness and Mark Strahl that you will be returning the $25,000.00 they donated.
We respectfully request the return of the $25,000.00 seed money the foundation provided you in the beginning.
It is our expectation that you will notify all volunteers, organizations and local suppliers that the Wounded Warriors Weekend 2015 event in Chilliwack has been cancelled .
Wounded Warriors Weekend
Emmons then released a statement on Facebook, on Tuesday morning:
It is with heavy heart that I regret to inform everyone that we were met with some challenges in Chilliwack that have proven to be insurmountable. I have spent the last two days teleconferencing with my Board of Directors. We took into consideration all potential avenues and have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our Wounded Warriors Weekend event in Chilliwack. We carefully considered the integrity of all concerned when we made our decision and are deeply appreciative of all those who have supported our previous Wounded Warriors Weekends. Unfortunately, we were unable to raise sufficient funds this year to present our Wounded Warriors Weekend in the same manner as in previous years. Please stay connected with us as we will continue to press forward on a future event. Next years plans have already been made to return to Nipawin, the birthplace of Wounded Warriors Weekend.
Blake Emmons – Founder