Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal issued a press release Monday to alert the community to the scam and The Crumley House immediately followed up with an explanation of the very specific circumstances and manner by which the nonprofit center may request a contribution by phone.
“The Crumley House does solicit donated auction items for its Polynesian Beach Party fundraiser. However, we do not use an automated system and the individual requesting a donation will identify themselves on the phone,” administrative assistant Michelle Ferguson said in the statement emailed to local media outlets.
With the tropical -themed poolside party, which is The Crumley House’s biggest fundraiser of the year, coming up early August, the timing of this week’s phone scam was unfortunate.
The Crumley House’s drive for event sponsorships and donated items for the live and silent auctions held in conjunction with the party is conducted throughout the year and will be wrapping up in the next few weeks.
However, Ferguson said, there is a very simple way to tell if any call for help for The Crumley House is legitimate. The person receiving the call will be a past contributor to the nonprofit rehabilitation center and/or a past guest at its Polynesian Beach Party. Even more telling, Ferguson said, the person placing the call will probably be someone at The Crumley House the supporter already knows.
In the recent phone scam, an automated system contacted an individual to request a donation to the organization repeatedly over a period of about a half hour. Ferguson said the individual who received the calls was familiar with The Crumley House, knew something was amiss and alerted the center to a possible scam.
“The Crumley House would like the community to know that this organization does not solicit donations through an automated recording,” Ferguson said. “If any representative from The Crumley House contacts an individual in the community, they will identify themselves and the fundraising event, they are representing for The Crumley House.”
An announcement of plans for this year’s Polynesian Beach Party will be coming soon. Ferguson encouraged supporters and other community members with questions about the validity of any phone solicitation for The Crumley House, or in need of information about to how to help the center, to contact her at The Crumley House at 423-257-3644, Ext. 7.
The Crumley House’s fundraising drive for construction of a new, 12-bed addition to its residential rehabilitation program is continuing. More information about the center’s residential and day programs for individuals with brain injuries can be found online at crumleyhouse.com or may be obtained by calling the center.
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Mission in Erwin will host its second annual Summer Fest from 8 a.m until 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, to help raise funds for construction of a new multipurpose building.
The festivities will include a vendor fair featuring Longaberger baskets, Vera Bradley and 31 purses and bags, Scentsy gifts, Krazy Krafts, Daff-A-Deals and others, as well as handmade arts and crafts, including oil paintings, crochet rag rugs, fishing lures, log cabin bird houses and more.
The day will also include a silent auction of handmade quilts, porcelain dolls, a Folbot folding kayak, a USA Raft trip and other items; live music and entertainment, games for kids and adults of all ages and a variety of authentic Mexican and classic American foods.
The festival will be held at 657 N. Mohawk Drive on the open field next to Evergreen Cemetery. Everyone is invited.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.