WSVN — It’s a non-profit organization, created 100 years ago when they said they were a club for people of color. Today their mission has not changed, helping people across Broward County. But recently, they needed help to avoid losing a grant to buy a new bus and so they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

If you stop by their club, you can count on one thing, smiles and laughter.

Addie Owens: “We are the oldest women of color club in the state of Florida. We have been there over a hundred years.

The North West Federated Woman’s Club Of Broward County, a mouthful of a title, for 100 years tackling a mountain of tasks.

Addie Owens: “We have a youth group. We give them scholarships, we take them on field trips, we feed our children in the summer time.”

Not just helping the kids, the non profit organization also uses their bus to take care of the seniors in Broward County.

Addie Owens: “It transports them to and from the center, it takes them to the grocery store, takes them to their doctors appointment.”

But that bus is getting old. More and more often, running one day then spending the next few days in the shop.

Then the City of Fort. Lauderdale seemed to save them.

Addie Owens: “So we got a letter saying we had been awarded $75,000 towards a new bus.”

That was back in March. Addie and the ladies ordered this $85,000 bus from a Broward company, putting down a $8,500 deposit.

Addie Owens: “We had a verbal contract that in March we would have the bus ready for you guys in three months.”

By June, still no bus.

Now it’s August and that $75,000 grant from the city came with a stipulation. If the bus was not delivered by September, they would lose the grant. Addie called the salesman again and again, asking where is our bus.

Addie Owens: “If you are not going to have that bus ready for a 100 days then we lose that grant then we have no money to buy a bus.”

Needless to say when the ladies heard there would be no bus and they would lose the grant, the laughter stopped, then when they asked for their $8,500 deposit back, the fuming started.

Addie Owens: “‘Can we get our deposit back? There is no way you will get your money back.'”

But their contract does say if the company doesn’t deliver the bus, they have to return the deposit.

Addie Owens: “I feel betrayed because I thought a man’s word was still solid.”

Well Howard, they are not laughing at the women’s club. Legally, you have any news that could cheer them up?

Howard Finkelstein: “Yes. While there is no delivery date in the contract, the law presumes the bus will be delivered in a reasonable amount of time. Five months is not reasonable, plus they were verbally promised the bus in three months. So no doubt they should get out of the contract and get back their deposit quickly.”

Some Help Me Howard’s take forever to solve. Sometimes things just fall into place. This time they did.

We contacted the head of the bus company. He told us they had no idea the club had a deadline for the grant, that they had ordered a specific bus and it takes longer to deliver. But he told us he was cancelling the contract and returning their $8,500 deposit immediately.

Addie Owens: “We have that check now and we are ready to deposit it and let me tell you what a relief. She said, ‘Aggie I hope I get a chance to ride in that bus before I am dead.”

The ladies are laughing again and they will get to ride in the new bus. It’s scheduled to be delivered by another company on Wednesday.

Addie Owens: “Thank you guys. I love you, I love you!”

Patrick Fraser: “The owner of the bus company says he didn’t know the grant for the bus had a deadline, but the woman at the non profit say his salesman knew, that they told him several times. Of course if you have a deal with someone and they promise something, make sure you get it in writing and if they say we can’t put it in writing or just trust us, head for the door and wave goodbye.”

Breaking down from a problem that has you grinding to a halt? Wanna bus us in? Join the club and give us a call. We don’t hand out grants, but hopefully you will profit from our help.

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


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