We have some good news, or at least that we are able to do a little bit of good.
Most of our loyal readers are well aware of the Subpoena saga and that people subsequently offered to donate funds to help fight for all of our rights in what we felt was a violation of all of our First Amendment rights and a power play and misuse of subpoena powers by Matt and Amy Roloff.
And as you know, we successfully quashed the subpoena.
Spiritswander has never been about money or profit (haven't made one dime off of this site). Our readers offered to donate towards the costs (and there were some) of going through the court process to fight the subpoena. I said all along that any excess money would be donated to charities. And once again, I would like to express a heartfelt "Thank you" to all who donated or even felt the desire to help. It was very over-whelming to feel the support and much appreciated.
We are pleased to announce that it looks like we will indeed be able to make a couple of donations. As stated in our article, this is all possible due to the generosity of internet lawyer Karl Kronenberger. I informed Karl Kronenberger about the money that was donated and he also suggested we give the money to charity.
So now it becomes a choice of what charity/charities? I believe we have enough money to make two donations in amounts that will be appreciated.
One organization is pretty much decided. Karl Kronenberger suggested an organization such as -- EFF - Electronic Frontier Foundation - because of the First Amendment issues that were involved in our case.
So the decision that is left is what charity or organization should we choose for the other half of our donation money? I wanted to put this out here to give people an opportunity to suggest a charity they feel would be worthy or make sense for our site to help. You can either post a comment here or if you would prefer, email at firstname.lastname@example.org . And if you donated yourself and want to keep it confidential, please feel free to email me with your suggestion. Ultimately the final decision will have to be mine as of course there are thousands of wonderful charities, but I did want to take some input and I will listen to all suggestions.
I'll list some ideas that have already been suggested.
1. Amy Roloff Charity Foundation or CoDA: When this idea first came up, some suggested that it might be humorous to make a donation to Matt's CoDA charity or the Amy Roloff Charity Foundation in the name of Spiritswander. Honestly though, that seems a tad spiteful and there is the ugly reality that this whole issue came about because Matt and Amy were attempting to strip all of us of our rights. So even if it is for a charity, giving money to the people who attempted to infringe on your rights -- seems a bit odd. I'm not suggesting that those charities haven't helped any people in need, but there is also a lot of fun partying involved for the likes of Amy Roloff and her board members such as Chris Cardamone. So when there are so many other worthy charities, giving them a donation so they can stand up at a Gala and say "Look at what our charity did", doesn't seem like the right choice to make for our site.
2. Little People of America: Due to the content of our site, some readers have suggested a charity that goes towards benefiting people with dwarfism and the LPA is the most well known advocates for people with dwarfism. However, once again, I will just lay this out to be honest. There was one concern that some have with the LPA as it relates to the Roloffs.
We sent a note to the LPA informing them that we were considering them for a donation and wanted to give them a chance to clear the air.
The main issue is that we have been told by a few different members of the LPA, that the LPA gives the Roloffs free hotel rooms for the National LPA conferences (as recently as last year). Although, someone else told us they didn't think that was true and had the understanding the Roloffs are still comped free hotel rooms by the hotel because of their celebrity status and not directly from the LPA.
As our readers know, Jeremy Roloff's best friend, Jacob Mueller, who is approximately 6'5" and is not related to any people with dwarfism, often goes along with the Roloffs to the LPA conferences and has a great time partying with them.
Although the LPA certainly does a lot more than chose recipients for comp hotel rooms, there is something about that idea that raises concerns about the wisdom of the decision makers. People envision the LPA helping people with dwarfism who are in need -- or if it involves the Conferences - the many children with dwarfism whose dream it is to attend a LPA conference to feel "normal" for a week. The conventions are very expensive as you can imagine. Depending upon the city, it can be around $200 for a hotel room per night. Obviously that's just not feasible for many families. So with this rumor that the LPA then gives free hotel rooms to celebrities like the Roloffs who live in a mansion, with a fleet of BMW's and vintage vehicles and have their hotel rooms occupied by their average height friend that likes to party -- it sort of sours the LPA as a worthy choice for a donation.
We wanted to be fair to the LPA, so we sent them a letter, asking for clarification if they wished. We received a very nice response which thanked us for even considering them, regardless of whether we chose them or not and thanked us for giving the money to any charity.
Although the response did not include a "That is absolutely false and there is no truth to it", it did imply that they are not giving the Roloffs -- and by extension - Jacob Mueller their comp hotel rooms. The response stated the board members, conference planners, and others who are required to attend the Conferences are often are the beneficiaries of the comp rooms (which is common at hotels for the organizers of any group that will be occupying a large number of rooms at a hotel). Some comp rooms are set aside for the Kitchen Scholarship Fund Awardees.
The response we received went on to say that when Matt Roloff served as President of the LPA (he hasn't since 2004 or 2005) he would have been eligible for a comp room those years. Also, Matt Roloff was on the board for the 2007 LPA Convention in Seattle, so the Roloffs would have been eligible to receive a comp room that year. The response said that one of those years, Matt donated his comp room back to the Kitchens fund.
Please make of that what you will and form your own opinion. If the LPA is a popular choice among our readers or those who donated, I'll have no problem in selecting them.
3. The Salman family. They were the family originally from Iraq that was featured in a couple of LPBW episodes. They have moved to the U.S. Some of the children have forms of dwarfism. The father also has a tumor. Tragically, their daughter passed away after undergoing surgery. Russell Hayes and U.S soldier Tammy and their families have basically adopted the family and took on all the responsibilities and emotional burdens involved in basically adopting a family that has so many medical needs. We have done articles about their plight in the past. Russell and Tammy are very grateful and appreciative of anyone who sends positive thoughts, prayers or are able to make a donation. If Rap541 (of course our frequent commentator and guest reviewer) had their choice, Rap would choose the Salman family.
4. Gay rights or anti-Bullying organizations. This was suggested by some of our readers -- mainly because one of the primary reasons why we are so disliked by the Roloffs is because we have expressed our disagreement with them over issues such as the hurtful effects of derogatory gay slurs and our opinion that it's hypocritical for the Roloffs as diversity speakers that talk about accepting your difference and the difference of others to support organizations that teach and preach that gay people must pray to be cured. So because there is an obvious disagreement regarding gay rights issues between many of our readers and the Roloffs, some people think an organization geared towards that would be a good choice.
Those are just some of the organizations that were originally suggested, but by all means, please submit your suggestions.
And thank you once again to all that donated or wanted to donate or offered whatever form of support you could in our effort to (successfully) defend ourselves against Matt and Amy Roloff's attempt to violate the rights of not only myself or Rap, but all of readers.