Fundraiser for Orphans

WSVN — A South Florida church was planning a Christmas party to raise money to buy a refrigerator and beds for an orphanage in Haiti. Then two businesses got into a dispute stopping the church from raising money for orphans and that’s when they contacted Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Immanuel Temple is a new congregation, so young they don’t have their own church yet. Instead, gathering on Sunday at a school to pray for themselves and the less fortunate.

Pastor John White II: “We support mission work in Haiti and Swaziland and Southern Africa, along with here in Dade and Broward County.”

As December rolled around, Rev. White and his congregation planned a Christmas party to celebrate the season and to raise money for an orphanage the church supports in Haiti.

Pastor John White II: “We are going to purchase a refrigerator and a deep freezer, along with beds for almost 30 kids.”

The event was planned for a Friday night at Emerald Hills Golf & Country Club and catered by a company they work with.

Pastor John White II: “Emerald Hills instructed us to enter into agreement with BCG Caters, we did, we paid $1,300 deposit for the event.”

Then 10 days before the event they got a call.

Pastor John White II: “Emerald Hills terminated their contract with BCG Caterers and so BCG Caterers told us they would find us another venue to host our event.”

After the country club and caterer had their breakup, the catering company wanted to move the event to a different banquet hall.

Pastor John White II: “I would completely have to tell our entire congregation, and the persons attending the party, on a couple days notice. That is unacceptable.”

Emerald Hills then stepped forward to make sure the churchs holiday fundraiser could go on at their club as planned.

Pastor John White II: “We are still having a party. Emerald Hills and their new cater, VIP Catering, have stepped up and absorbed all of the cost.”

With the country club covering the $1,300 deposit, the church only has to pay the remaining cost of the event. But now Rev. White wants their deposit back from BCG Catering to give to the orphanage.

Pastor John White II: “There are three children sleeping in beds and we want to buy new beds for all of the kids.”

But legally the contract with the caterer may give them the right to keep the deposit if they can agree on another date and place. Rev. White says, No.

Pastor John White II: “The agreement should be honored. It’s not our fault you severed the relationship with Emerald Hills.”

Well Howard, you want to legally sort this out?

Howard Finkelstein: “This started when the country club locked out the caterer, preventing them from providing the dinner for the fundraiser and stuck in the middle of the business dispute, is the church. Meaning legally, the country club has to provide the location and because the caterer cannot provide the meal, they have to return the deposit to the church.”

We spoke to BCG Caterers who told us they were just following the contract, would use the $1,300 deposit for the next church event and would even be willing to pay for the invitations for that.

When we told them the church wanted that $1,300 to buy beds for children at an orphanage in Haiti, they said they had no idea they wanted to use the money for that.

The next day, the caterer delivered the $1,300 check to Immanuel Temple to buy beds for the kids and they then gave the church a $500 catering credit for the next event Immanuel Temple has.

Howard Finkelstein: “Give Emerald Hills and BCG credit. Rather than letting their dispute hurt a church trying to help an orphanage, they both stepped forward and both should be applauded for doing a good thing.”

Pastor John White II: “Want to thank Channel 7 and Help Me Howard.”

The churchs Christmas party turned out great. More importantly, they raised the money to help the orphans in Haiti.

Pastor John White II: “And a week from today, we will be in Haiti to see the refrigerator and deep freezer that our members gave for the orphanage.”

Patrick Fraser: “Eventually almost every dispute is worked out. Unfortunately some drag on, costing both sides. In this case, the church got what they needed and more because good businesses used good sense and did the right thing for the right reason. Hopefully those children in Haiti will enjoy their new beds.”

Praying for a solution to your problem? Need help from a higher authority? That’s not us, but we can cater your legal needs at a tasty price…free.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

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