Check up on charities before donating this holiday season - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Check up on charities before donating this holiday season

It's the season of giving, but do residents really know where their money goes when they give to charities or how much of it goes there? (Source: WMBF News) It's the season of giving, but do residents really know where their money goes when they give to charities or how much of it goes there? (Source: WMBF News)

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - It's the season of giving, but do residents really know where their money goes when they give to charities, or how much of it goes there?

The South Carolina Secretary of State releases a list of so-called Scrooges and angels every year. 

This massive list names some of the so-called best and worst charities, based on how much of residents' money actually goes to them. While no local groups made the worst or best, WMBF News dug through the full list and checked out some of the Bingo Charities where some of the money ends up.

Angela Schwindel has been calling numbers at Big Bucks Beach Bingo on Dick Pond Road for a decade, but said she doesn't do it for the money. 

"Actually, for the past two to three years my husband and I personally have taken money from our savings account and put back into the bingo just to keep it open for the community," said Angela Schwindel.  

She added her players are more like family.  

"We have some that are here every single day for the past 10 years that if they're not here we're worried, we call their house. It really is more of a family It really is. I have a closely-knit community," Schwindel said. 

According to the Secretary of State's report, her Big Bucks Beach Bingo gave 1.84 percent of its earnings to her partner charity Order Sons of Italy- Myrtle Beach Lodge 2662. They use the funds for scholarships and enhancements to their lodge, among other uses. 

All bingo operators are required to partner with a charity to operate in South Carolina. It turns out that percentage is higher than the state average in SC, which is around 1.61 percent.  

Non-bingo charities gave an average of 52.3 percent to their client charities, according to the report.

Schwindel said she's proud of her $19,000 contribution to the charity and feels like the Secretary of State's report doesn't tell the whole story.  

"It's very misleading, and it's a little disheartening to a small business owner, because it just shows what our gross sales are," she said. "It doesn't show after prizes are paid out, which is 85 percent of our take in in one day's business. Those other charities that are showing at 40 and 50 percent don't have the overhead that we have." 

WMBF News dug through the 79-page report to find other area bingo-charity fundraiser payout percentages that are listed with lower charity payouts. 

According to the Secretary of State's report, a bingo-charity partnership in Florence lost 1.6 percent, while one in Conway paid out .42 percent. Then there was the North Myrtle Beach High School Chiefs Athletic Booster Club Bingo partner, which paid out zero percent last year after expenses.  

Although the treasurer of the club said the Chiefs still made more than $50,000 in rebates from the state through the bingo partnership. Secretary of State representatives provided the following statement:

The 2015 Professional Solicitor Report lists 0%, because that is what was reported in the joint financial report filed by North Myrtle Beach Bingo Concessions that year.  Attached is a copy of that report for your review

The information provided in the 2015 Professional Solicitor Report is an accurate representation of what each professional solicitor filed in their joint financial reports that year.  We do not modify the data provided in those reports.  As noted earlier, there is some variation in how the professional solicitors itemize their expenses; however, the data that is included with respect to gross revenue, total expenses, and amount paid to the charitable organization is that which is reported by the professional solicitors. 

The information provided by North Myrtle Beach Bingo Concessions in its joint financial report is not incorrect in that the bingo paper tax expense was paid to the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Revenue in turn remitted that to the Chiefs Athletic Booster Club.  If you were to calculate 26% of the bingo paper tax listed in North Myrtle Beach Bingo Concessions’ JFR for 10/1/2014 to 9/30/2015 (which is the amount that the Department of Revenue would have remitted to the charity), that would total $61,955.40.  That is approximately 2.6% of the $2,420,289.59 in gross receipts from the bingo during that fiscal year.  Again, as noted previously, some bingo promoters itemize their expenses so that the bingo tax rebate is reflected in the amount paid to the charity (along with any additional profits or expenses), and the data our office includes in the Professional Solicitor’s Report is that which is reported directly by the bingo promoter. 

Renee S. Daggerhart

Media Relations Director/Executive Assistant to the Secretary

SC Secretary of State’s Office


Secretary of State Mark Hammond said his hands are tied when it comes to payout requirements.  

"There's been a lot of Supreme Court cases, and there's a separation of church and state, and it's been told that we can't mandate a percentage that has to go to charitable purposes," Hammond said. "So what we have to do is - and we do this every year, and we also run commercials, and we have a toll free telephone number and a website - to inform the public that they need to check these charitable organizations out before they give. Unfortunately, many of these games only result in the charity receiving the bingo tax rebate required by law and sometimes less than that depending on the expenses claimed by the bingo promoter. The real question to be answered is whether the term 'charitable bingo' is a misnomer, and says that is something that the public and lawmakers must answer for themselves."

Schwindel was asked if she felt like there are a lot of other bingo halls that are keeping some more profit and making more profit, and not paying as much as her group is to their charity.  

"Absolutely, and I give an extra three percent more than what's required to my charity," she said.

Whether a person chooses to play bingo or donate their money directly to a charity, Schwindel said she has nothing to hide.  

"I'm going to tell you, I've taken it pretty personal to be even considered a Scrooge for the contributions that my family has made to this business, the things that my employees have given in the community, and we go out (and) we do public service. They've helped with halfway houses," she said. "There's all kinds of things. So, even though we're listed one point one, which was super high for our business, to be considered on the lower end and maybe on the Scrooge list is really unfair."  

For information on various charities or fundraisers, click here. Here is a list from the S.O.S, showing area groups and violations.  

Organization

Type

Fines Paid in Past 3 Years

Chiefs Athletic Booster Club

Charity

Delinquent Registration for FYE 2014:  $2000

Late FYE 2013 Annual Financial Report: $960

North Myrtle Beach Bingo Concessions

PFR

None

Order of Sons of Italy Myrtle Beach Lodge 2662

Charity

None

Angela Schwindel, Bingo Promoter

PFR

None

Syrian Lebanon American Society of SC

Charity

None

Bingo-Rama, Inc.

PFR

None

Darlington County School District

Charity

None

Great American Opportunities

PFR

None related to contract with Darlington County School District

Darlington Firemen Rescue

Charity

Late FY 2012 Annual Financial Report:  $400

Palmetto Photo, Inc.

PFR

None related to contract with Darlington Firemen Rescue

Grand Strand Juniors Volleyball Club

Charity

None

Patricia Perpetuino, Grand Strand Juniors Bingo

PFR

None

Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 12

Charity

None

Triad Alliance, LLC

PFR

None

Horry County School District

Charity

None

Great American Opportunities

PFR

None related to contract with Horry County School District.

Pee Dee Shrine Club

Charity

None

JDM Promotions, LLC

PFR

None

SC Professional Firefighters Association

Charity

Delinquent Registration for FY 2015:  $1000

United Partners Outreach, Inc.

PFR

None

School District of Georgetown County

Charity

None

Great American Opportunities

PFR

None related to contract with Horry County School District.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3181

Charity

Late FY 2014 Annual Financial Report:  $200

Kemp Allen Deaton

PFR

None

The Department of Revenue provided the following information regarding area bingo hall violations:

Chiefs Athletic Booster Club - 1

  • Did not update employee list with DOR within 30 days

Order of Sons of Italy - 0

Syrian Lebanon American Society - 2 with 1 pending

  • Changed a day of play and did not notify DOR within 30 days
  • Sold paper after the game started
  • Pending violation: did not notify DOR of an employee change within 30 days (They can appeal pending violation within 90 days.

See the Secretary of State's complete Angels and Scrooges list for 2016 below:

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT: Local rivers rising rapidly, flooding worsens through the weekend

    FIRST ALERT: Local rivers rising rapidly, flooding worsens through the weekend

    Friday, September 21 2018 5:46 PM EDT2018-09-21 21:46:57 GMT
    Waccamaw River floodingWaccamaw River flooding

    Water levels will continue to rise to historic levels on area rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

    More >>

    Water levels will continue to rise to historic levels on area rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway.

    More >>
  • FEMA grants individual assistance to several SC counties

    FEMA grants individual assistance to several SC counties

    Friday, September 21 2018 5:07 PM EDT2018-09-21 21:07:14 GMT
    Rescue crews help one family caught in the flood. (Source: WMBF News)Rescue crews help one family caught in the flood. (Source: WMBF News)
    Rescue crews help one family caught in the flood. (Source: WMBF News)Rescue crews help one family caught in the flood. (Source: WMBF News)
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted individual assistance to several counties, according to Congressman Tom RIce. In a Facebook post from the Congressman, it is said: Dillon and Marlboro have been granted Public Assistance, in addition to Horry and Marion. I've been in close contact with FEMA officials over the past few days to request federal assistance for counties impacted by Hurricane Florence. I'm glad to see these res...More >>
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted individual assistance to several counties, according to Congressman Tom RIce. In a Facebook post from the Congressman, it is said: Dillon and Marlboro have been granted Public Assistance, in addition to Horry and Marion. I've been in close contact with FEMA officials over the past few days to request federal assistance for counties impacted by Hurricane Florence. I'm glad to see these res...More >>
  • Residents in Bucksport and Bucksville urged to evacuate

    Residents in Bucksport and Bucksville urged to evacuate

    Friday, September 21 2018 5:04 PM EDT2018-09-21 21:04:06 GMT
    (Source: WMBF News)(Source: WMBF News)

    Residents in Bucksport and Bucksville are being urged to evacuate as flooding from the Waccamaw River continues to threaten the area.hur

    More >>

    Residents in Bucksport and Bucksville are being urged to evacuate as flooding from the Waccamaw River continues to threaten the area.hur

    More >>
Powered by Frankly