R. Kelly staged a benefit concert for the troops, but did it raise any money?
The designated beneficiary, the Texas Military Family Foundation, was told that it didn’t, and so far the foundation hasn’t received any proceeds from the event. On Thursday (November 13) R. Kelly’s reps said they’re about to rectify the situation, even if it means paying out of their own pockets.
A spokesperson for the Texas Military Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to making the lives of military members and their families easier, said that ever since the October 24 concert in Belton, Texas, they’ve been trying to get a response about how much money was raised. They said they’ve repeatedly called and written Kelly’s business manager, his lawyer and the show’s producer to no avail.
“We didn’t receive any funds from the fund-raising concert,” foundation Executive Director Julie Curtis-Win said. “It has really left our foundation in a predicament. I wonder how long patience is supposed to last with these kinds of things. What would you do if you were in my shoes?”
The nonprofit foundation was set to send care packages to the troops in Iraq full of essential but hard-to-find items like toilet paper, baby oil and lip balm. Curtis-Win said she was guaranteed around $50,000 for the project, which she thought she was going to receive an hour before the concert began at the Bell County Exposition Center, where the audience included several thousand soldiers from nearby Fort Hood.
Curtis-Win said that despite ample opportunity to produce a check, none was ever handed over. When she tried discussing it with the show’s producer, she said, he told her the concert had lost money because beaming the show via satellite to military bases turned out to be four times the estimate he had originally been given.
In a post-concert report given to the charity and obtained by MTV News, the show’s producers claim ticket sales totaled $107,045, but that costs – venue production ($33,771), Kelly production ($25,000), satellite feed ($62,095), advertising ($7,588) and ancillary expenses ($6,034) – left them almost $27,500 in the hole.
However, when MTV News contacted Jaguarr Productions, show producer David Bullock said the show broke even. Still, both stories meant the same result – no proceeds were left for the charity.
“I think the producer has taken advantage of us as well as Mr. Kelly,” Curtis-Win said. “It’s just truly unfortunate that the TMFF as well as Mr. Kelly have been misled. R. Kelly may have no idea of the situation, he is so protected. And I don’t blame him. I’m just frustrated. And I’m disappointed. I stuck by Mr. Kelly despite the allegations [of child pornography], even though I’m on the Children’s Advocacy Board, because I thought we were going to do some good. That was the intent.”
Kelly’s spokesperson said the charity’s disappointment is premature because accounting figures for the concert aren’t due yet. He said everything was still on schedule and that if it turns out that the concert didn’t make money, a “nice infusion of money” was going to come to the charity anyway, the exact amount to be determined.
“They will be able to send the care packages,” spokesperson Allan Mayer said. “TMFF is definitely going to get the money.”
Plus, Kelly’s camp noted, the goal of the concert wasn’t just to raise money, but also to boost the morale of the troops, and toward that end they felt successful.