Giants star stung by failed charity effort

June 10, 2008 at 3:37 PM
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ATLANTA, June 10 (UPI) -- A New York Giants football star and his brother say they've learned lessons about the pitfalls of starting a charity after losing thousands of dollars.

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who signed a six-year, $41 million contract with the team in 2005, and his brother, Jim Umenyiora, have seen their anti-HIV charity "Strike 4 a Cure" turn into a financial flop and admit its promotional efforts were misleading, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

Jim Umenyiora of Atlanta said he has fired the marketing firm that helped the brothers set up the charity, which was meant to raise money to battle HIV and AIDS in their native Nigeria by holding star-studded parties and bowling events. He blamed the firm for misleading statements in the effort's Web site, including a claim that "Strike 4 a Cure" had tax-exempt status, the newspaper reported.

A failed celebrity bowling tournament cost the Umenyiora brothers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they reportedly have canceled any further charity events until they can obtain tax-exempt status.

Experts told the newspaper that many would-be charities are torpedoed by not properly researching all that's required to make them legal and workable.

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