CASA Looking For Money Raised From Veralee Craft Fundraiser
Lynchburg, VA - Questions now surround a fundraiser in honor of 13 month old Veralee Craft, who was beaten to death by her mother's boyfriend in 2012.Veralee's father, Jonathan, held a fundraiser in April. Part of the money raised was supposed to go to CASA, an organization to help abused and neglected children. But CASA says though they've yet to see a dime from that event and Lynchburg Police are now investigating.Jonathan Craft told ABC 13 Reporter James Gherardi via text that he has receipts to prove a donation.The event back in April was held at Toppers bar and restaurant in Lynchburg. A cover was charged and donations were collected.According to a Facebook event for the fundraiser, proceeds were supposed to go to CASA, as well as The Compassionate Friends Organization.In an email between Craft and CASA's Executive Director, Craft claims he didn't give them the money because he was upset that officials from CASA said they could not be involved because it was at a bar, yet had a fundraiser of its own the same day that served alcohol. CASA replied that they told him they couldn't participate because they had no control over things like checking ID's for instance.Officials from CASA said their name and logo were attached to the event and they want answers. They filed a police report Wednesday and police confirm they'll be investigating the matter."It's possible that he did give the money to another nonprofit but he won't tell me who it went to so I'm hoping that he'll cooperate and tell law enforcement where that money went" said Allison Wingfield, CASA's Executive Director.The manager of a band that performed at Toppers for the fundraiser that night said they confirmed with Craft that $1,300 was the grand total. She too has been unable to find out where that money is today."Everybody was excited about this and to be duped, I'm disgusted. I'm disgusted by it" said Eva Burnett, Manager of the band "Unspoken 2013".Craft is out of town but said via text Wednesday he has a receipt that he can show that will prove everyone wrong when he returns. We have left a message with The Compassionate Friends to ask if they've seen any money, and have not yet heard back.Late Wednesday afternoon, Craft sent a text to ABC 13 saying that most of the money went to an organization called Child Help. We are waiting to hear back from them for confirmation.