Last week, Y-Me, a breast cancer charity shut its doors inexplicably. The sudden end of Y-Me prompted State Senator Ira Silverstein to ask for an investigation by state attorney general.
Over the past five years, the amount of contributions Y-Me received dropped significantly. Public records and an audit released by Attorney General Madigan’s office indicate Y-Me was hit hard by financial problems. However, as State Senator Ira Silverstein said the sudden shut down of its operations must be accounted for.
“Given the size of the organization, the number of people involved and the importance of their work, I think there should be some accountability” said the State Senator. Earlier this year, State Senator Ira Silverstein joined some 20,000 people in a charity event organized by Y-Me. In the organization’s May 13th race and walk, 20,000 people raised around $2 million.
According to an audit released by Attorney General Madigan’s office, Y-Me was in a rough spot. The breast cancer charity’s investments were estimated at $1.5 million in 2010. Just one year later, Y-Me’s investments were down to $803,204. With that in mind, Ira Silverstein asked the state attorney general to look into the sudden shut down of the charity organization.
But Sharon Green, first executive director for Y-Me, believes there’s no ground for a probe against the charity. “I don’t believe there was any wrongdoing” argued Sharon Green, who is currently still a board member with Y-Me. “It’s just an economic situation that they’ve been dealing with for some time, and it got to be very difficult to meet the monthly bills” she added.
Of the $2 million raised in May this year, Sharon Green said “None of that money was wasted”. “That money was used to keep the hotline going as long as we could. Nobody bought cars or anything like that; it was used for important programs. It just couldn’t be sustained” she added.
According to volunteer Margaret Harte, it was bad management that caused last week’s sudden shut down. She complained about “incompetence and mismanagement” particularly during the old management. In her statement, the former Y-Me CEO said the organization was eventually brought down by “liabilities from many, many years ago” which became even worse with the weak economy.