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Foundations, trusts funding Camp Alexander putting stipulations on further funds or suspending funding

Camp Alexander has had success in lining up donations to repay parents, staffers and creditors since the camp board announced financial problems nearly a week ago, but the local charitable trusts and foundations providing major funds to the camp are either putting stipulations on further funds or withdrawing money altogether.

The Jones Foundation released a short statement Wednesday, saying trustees were "disappointed and concerned" about the camp's finances. The statement also says the foundation intends to pay what it calls "any substantiated amount" owed to the camp as outlined in the foundation's award agreement.

In addition, the Jones Foundation says any future financial disbursements will be based upon what it calls "the direction, leadership and oversight of future boards."

Later in the day, the Hopkins Foundation said it has withdrawn its funds for the camp. Foundation attorney Tom Krueger says the group funded $31,000 to Camp Alexander to provide matching funds at the start of the AmeriCorps program last year and has funded camp initiatives for years.

Camp Alexander board chair Brian McCracken is withholding comment at this time while discussions continue with certified public accountants.

The decisions by the Jones and Hopkins Foundation boards follow a decision by the United Way of the Flint Hills to end its funding of the camp because of what it says was the board's decision to end the AmeriCorps' AdventureCorps program. The United Way had earmarked $16,500 for the program and handed out almost $10,000 before deciding to suspend funds.

Documents provided to KVOE News show former camp director Damon Leiss requested $21,360 in Jones Foundation grant funds to offset costs for a pair of six-week summer camps and benefit 40 campers in the process. Documents say the foundation would grant funds if the camp provided its 2013 reviewed financial statement by April 25, but that didn't happen.

The camp's financial picture is in the process of clarifying after the camp board originally said unforeseen issues forced it to close the facility last week. McCracken says the buildings have been closed, but the grounds are open for public use, rentals are being scheduled and the camp is honoring activities on the schedule.

McCracken says the board has received over $17,000 in anonymous donations since the financial problems came to light, but he says the board needs to get the camp's accounts reconciled. Following discussions with camp staff, Jones Foundation board chair Tom Thomas said the board also needs a treasurer and the camp needs an office manager with knowledge of accounting and related principles.

We'll keep you updated on KVOE, KVOE.com and KVOE social media.

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