In Print: Collin County Partied at Kids’ Expense

My investigative piece on the mismanagement of Star Children’s Charity in Collin County is online and in your mailboxes.

It was the kind of cool November evening in Frisco that allowed gentlemen to wear tuxedos without perspiring, while the ladies could still go bare shouldered in their Carmen Marc Valvo. As premium brands flowed from the open bar, guests in the Embassy Suites’ Grand Ballroom pored over four- and five-figure silent auction items like diamond rings and a $10,000 Super Bowl ticket package. Dinner, a live auction, a magic show, and casino games would follow.

From all outward appearances, Star Children’s Charity’s annual Winter Ball was a huge success. Guests, who paid a minimum of $250 per ticket, must have assumed that tens of thousands of dollars were raised by Star, which funnels money to other Collin County nonprofits that serve children. But it’s not at all clear whether Star made money that night (expenses ran north of $200,000). And, if it did make money, Star will have to use those funds to dig itself out of a deep red hole created by making pledges in past years to charities that it couldn’t fulfill. Take a look at Star’s books, ask around in Collin County nonprofit circles, and a picture of profound mismanagement begins to emerge.

“Besides hiding their liabilities and not fulfilling their commitments, they are telling people, ‘You don’t need to support this agency. You can support Star, and we will get the money to them,’ ” says a member of one nonprofit that has worked with Star. The source, like several who spoke to D Magazine, asked not to be named. “Star is just getting in the way and eating up donor dollars with their high overhead.

Full story here.


  1. Uppercase Matt says:

    Are you missing a number from the 2009 numbers? You said they brought in $338,924, gave away $294,000, and spent $1.57 for every dollar raised. Are you saying that expenses were ($338,924 * $1.57 =) $532,110? So about the same operating expense as 2008, but with just more than one-third of the 2008 amount raised in 2009?

    If that’s the case, I don’t get why you didn’t just state the 2009 operating expense — it gives the basis for the $1.57 “not kidding” figure.

  2. Rocket says:

    I thought the same thing, Uppercase Matt. Trey, please clarify the numbers.

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