Elks Home Resident Wants His Money Back

Bedford, VA - A man who lives at Bedford's Elks National Home believes the home's governing board is violating his contract by selling the retirement facility.

Residents were notified last week the home was being sold to Twenty/20 Management, a Blacksburg firm specializing in long-term care for senior citizens. The $4.5 million sale is set to close December 31.

Bill McGuiness, who has lived at the Elks Home for ten years, says he's one of several residents who want to move.

McGuiness wants back all of the $10,000 deposit he paid back in 2003. He says he needs that money to move back home to Massachusetts, where he still has family.

McGuiness' contract says if a resident leaves or dies, the home will keep no more than $5,000. McGuiness says he's the one being left, by the Elks. McGuiness believes since the agreement he signed is with the Elks, the board is in breach of contract because it sold the home.

McGuiness has been a member of the Elks for 25 years. He's telling fellow Elks to reconsider retiring in Bedford.

"Do not come to this home. You've been betrayed. You literally have been betrayed," said McGuiness. "When I came down here I was told that this was my home. I would live here the rest of my life. You will be with your brothers and sisters. Your home would always be here."

Michael Zellen, vice chairman of the board that oversees the home, says the board's attorney has reviewed resident contracts. Zellen says under the contract, a resident is only entitled to 40% of the contingency fee, in the event of a sale. Zellen says the board plans to give residents half of the original fee paid and any other money they're owed. They can request a refund now, or will get it automatically after the sale.

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