While praising the likes of Deron Williams and Dikembe Mutombo for their tireless efforts on behalf of numerous charities, the Salt Lake Tribune‘s Ross Siler, Tony Semerad and Michael C. Lewis paint a far less flattering picture of other NBA players’ fundraising efforts. “The average NBA player foundation put just 51 cents of each dollar it spent toward charitable programs, well below the 65 cents most philanthropic watchdog groups view as acceptable,” claim the trio, though perhaps these numbers are thrown off a bit by the catering bill for Jerome James’ “Feed The Hungriest” Banquet.
NBA free agent Robert Horry’s Big Shot Foundation reported $206,086 in fundraising expenses for 2005, its first year of operation, but, according to tax returns, the efforts raised nothing.
The year’s tab included $38,000 in artist’s fees; a total of $23,126 in building and venue rental; a $27,486 expenditure on an unitemized “commission”; $23,005 in food; $25,905 in golf course fees; $17,368 on hotels; along with other four-figure expenditures on a disk jockey, sound and lighting, trophies, video rental, logo shirts and security.
Attempts to reach a foundation spokesman at the phone number listed on tax returns were unsuccessful.
Retired NBA power forward Chris Webber’s Foundation holds an annual star-studded poker and golf extravaganza at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, called C-Webb’s Bada Bling. Now in its fourth year, the party is billed as “a celebrity weekend” with a 56-star guest list including comedian Jamie Foxx and singer Gladys Knight.
In 2006, the first year the event was held, party organizers reported spending $243,000 on catering and $327,561 on event production. The foundation also reported losing $530,590 on special events for the same year, tax returns show.