Vick protest was peaceful, respectful

March 12, 2010

To all who have misconceptions about the protest at the Ed Block Award Foundation's banquet, I was there. I helped with the protest. I know why were there and what happened. We were not protesting Michael Vick's existence with our peaceful protest of approximately 100 people. We were protesting his receiving the courage award. And we did not need a dozen policemen to control us. Four to six stood along the barrier and watched us. I spoke with all of them and assured them that we would not be any trouble. In addition, I asked them to let me know how we could make their job easier, and we did everything they asked. The other 10-12 officers stood along the Martin's West property and watched us as we talked to passersby and waved signs, or they checked people going into the banquet. There was one arrest -- a young man who came at some of us with a baseball bat.

PETA was not at the protest. Yes, there were many animal advocacy groups there. There were also ordinary people who love dogs and don't think paying for your crimes and doing court-ordered/contractually obligated community service should qualify you for a courage award.

As to our "hindering the charity's mission," ("Vick protesters hinder charity's mission," Readers respond, March 11) the organization only sold 50 fewer tickets than last year -- is that really going to affect the Ed Block Award Foundation's ability to help abused children? Or do you know how little of the Ed Block Award Foundation's money even goes to help abused children?

Although the foundation had net assets of over $900,000 in 2008, it only gave $15,500 in grants to children's foundations -- $12,500 in Maryland (another $63,000-plus was spent on "expenses"). The rest of the money was spent on "public awareness" ($55,000-plus), expenses involved with the award ceremony ($30,000-plus), and "expenses to support other local non-profit organizations with their fundraising efforts" ($1,000-plus). Other spending included over $540,000 in "special events expenses." All this information is publicly available on their IRS PF-990 through a free Internet search.

Perhaps The Ed Block Foundation is hindering its own mission.

Ann R. Coleman

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