Daffodil Society Embezzlement & Shut-Down

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A note upfront:  This Daffodil Society is NOT affiliated with the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days OR The American Daffodil Society.  Also, Susan “Sunny” Clark is not and has never been associated with the Daffodil Society nor Sue Kerivan.

The Daffodil Society is based out of Illinois and their mission statement is as follows:  “The Daffodil Society is a nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of supporting women suffering with endometriosis.”

According to the Daffodil Society, Sue Kerivan, President of the Daffodil Society, has admitted to embezzling funds for her own personal use, including monies that were raised for 3-day Endometriosis Awareness Conference and Walk. Sadly, the walk never took place and the funds disappeared…vendors were not reimbursed for deposits, people who purchased purses as part of the fundraiser never received the purses or a refund, and those who paid actual ticket prices for the event were also not reimbursed for the cancelled conference.  None of the money made it’s way to The Daffodil Society’s coffers.  Sue has since stepped down from the presidency.

The June 2016 event was going to be a “two day mini-conference, designed to educate, advocate and unite Endo Patients, their families, Doctors, Medical Students, Healthcare Professionals and the Community at large in an attempt to gain awareness and foster much better care for the 176 million women and girls around the world, but starting with our own 1 in 10 right in our own neighborhoods and homes.” The itinerary was extensive and was slated to have many guest speakers, an awareness walk, Q&A panels, formal dinners, a comedy show, a dance, and other “surprises.”

Ticket prices were tiered, based on which activities were chosen and prices ranged from $25 to $250.  Vendors fees were $75 to $300.  A table for eight could be reserved for $1,000.  Purses sold for $100 to $250. And, a Facebook post dated September 11, 2016, at 1:23 a.m. stated, “Thousands of dollar were raised, $0 dollars are on the account. . And indeed the DS had never filed for the 501c3 status. As of today, the Daffodil Society has been disbanded.” (emphasis added).  On September 19, 2016, Ms. Kerivan was charged with “deceptive practices” (a Class A Misdemeanor) by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and is scheduled for a court hearing in late April 2017 and has an attorney.

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Sue responded a few posts later with,

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The Daffodil Society was registered in the State of Illinois as a non-profit business as of July 2015, although it was “not in good standing,” as it had not yet filed it’s annual report and/or paid appropriate fees.  It does, however, have an Employer Identification Number : IL EIN: 47-4617136.

We received permission from Endo Pio Garcia to share the following public Facebook post about her hands-on experience with Sue and her accounting:

“I need to say this. I was VERY close to Sue Kerivan. She helped me a lot through rough times, specially when the doctors refused to treat my chronic pain. She found a doctor to do surgery on me, and get rid of seven tumors and excise my endo. She talked to her landlord so we could move closer to her. I was so grateful for everything she did for me! I joined the Board of Directors of the Daffodil Society with my husband, who was also grateful to finally see me out of misery. I went to her house often, I cleaned and cook for her, we paid for all website and host related costs, and did everything I could to help her in any way. We became very close. I had no previous knowledge of any kind on non-profits, and I trusted every single word she ever said to me. I loved her as if she was family. We were there for her when she most needed, she was my best friend. We saw her becoming overwhelmed when people started to come forward asking for refunds, and since she alone managed the Society we convinced her to delegate. She appointed my husband treasurer, and I became her assistant. My husband insisted in checking the accounts, and Sue couldn’t remember the passwords, felt sick, was busy with something else… This created friction between my husband and her. I felt terrible. When we finally had access to the DS account, we couldn’t believe it! There was no money. $0!!
My husband noticed that as soon as the account got to a couple of hundred, the money was transferred to another account. He demanded access to that account. At that point Sue started complaining that my husband wanted to manipulate her every move, that he was bossy, and even obsessive. I started to realize there was something wrong. When he finally managed to access the other account, we saw that every time money was transferred, it was spent on personal purchases around the area. Gas, groceries, bills, insurance, dollar general… All of it gone. We offered to help her pay it ourselves, thinking at that moment that it was not a horrible amount. We wanted to help her. We knew it was bad. We asked her to stop getting money and focus on finding ways to repay. She accepted. Next thing we know she was talking about the retreat and charging money for DS membership. We couldn’t believe it! My husband told her to desist, and she actually said to him that since she had put so much time and effort on the DS she was entitled to money!!!! Who was this woman??? It couldn’t possibly be the loving lady I grew so attached to! It couldn’t! We had to tell the other members. We did not want to help her anymore. Why didn’t she just try to repay? Why didn’t she take our help? How could she think she could get more money from our sisters to pay for what she had spent?
We told the rest of the board at this point, and they were in as much shock as we had been. Some of them questioned us. But by then we had been locked out of the accounts. We had no proof. It was our word against hers. We asked Sue to give access to the other members, but for x reason she couldn’t. We had the board against us. We kept telling them to ask for access to the accounts. During this time we confronted Sue in a chat group with the board, and she slowly started to make admissions. She blamed one of the former members of the board, she blamed her husband, she claimed that because of her brain injury she couldn’t remember spending thousands of dollars…. We completely lost respect for her. We were heartbroken. People were crying, betrayed, we felt used! All of our time and efforts were towards her personal gain!!! We trusted her. We loved her. We respected her. How could she had done this??? We demanded an apology, and well….

**More details to the story added here**

All we got was an “I’m sorry. But you have to understand it was because of my brain injury”. We weren’t happy with that. We kept insisting that she should apologize, and we got that same excuse over and over again. We were frustrated! My husband went to talk to the Sheriff, and he kindly (at this point I was done with kindness) offered a solution. We would help her get the money she owed ourselves AGAIN, under the condition that she offered a public heart felt, no excuses apology, that she acknowledged that the former board wasn’t a part of the embezzlement, that she stepped down from presidency and that she shut down all DS activity. Otherwise, a formal report would be filed. A few days passed, we had our “apology” on the former DS community page, and absolutely NOTHING else was done. We had offered to help her again! All of us!!! We had hope that she would open her eyes and take our help, maybe even resume friendship afterwards since a lot of the former board had so much love for her, but nope. That same night my husband sent her a text reminding her to step down from the DS, and she takes the text to the Sheriff and tries to file a harassment complaint against him!!! The Sheriff quickly talked her out of it, advising her to just take the help instead and comply with the arrangements. But she didn’t. Well, if she wasn’t sorry for spending our sister’s money, she could easily do it again with no remorse, she seemed to be convinced it was ok due to her brain injury (which was never a problem for planning the whole conference, chasing people to pay deposits, arranging vendors and collecting money from them, planing fundraisers and collecting money from them, getting a very promising program ready…)
We decided to file the report. Then we remembered her saying she had to pay $10 dollars to get a 501(c)3 status, which we thought it was very odd, since she had previously stated it was a couple of hundred, so my husband decided to give the accountant a call. She told him that she had only met with Sue once a year prior to register the DS under the state of Illinois, but as of July 15, 2016, she still hadn’t paid the $10 to renew registration. She also told us she never applied for a 501(c)3 status, OR filed the taxes for the year it was registered.

It struck me: she had a very good reason not to delegate any responsibilities outside from advertising fundraisers… She used us! She made sure most of us hadn’t any non-profit experience so we wouldn’t ask any questions!

We never meant to “slander” her (plus is not slander if we have all the proof and her admission). We are just so full of pain and anger and betrayal. So many sisters are out of money, and she just took it and lied about it. And she used us to help her. How would YOU feel? That after offering to help she just convinced everybody that you were out to destroy her reputation? Should’ve I just let her go on doing it?” ~Original Facebook Post here

Sharing this information in case you had given funds and are upset and wish to request a refund – the Daffodil Society is doing what they can to rectify the situation.

For information on how to request a refund for June’s event, please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDSOutreach/.  The site also has over a dozen screenshots of Ms. Kerivan’s submitted accounting, which shows purchases linked to her personal business, local grocery stores, a gym, restaurants, party supply and craft stores, boutiques and clothing stores, utility and waste management bills, automobile insurance, postal services, gas stations, Microsoft and iTunes, and jewelers.  They’ve submitted this proof to authorities.

My personal feelings? It’s disgusting.  I don’t have all of the facts or Ms. Kerivan’s side of the story, but it’s absolutely disgusting and I needed to share this with you.  I’m even more upset because I shared this event on our list of 2016 Endo Events…and this happened.  I apologize if any of you were affected by my sharing this event and encourage you to reach out to the society to submit a request for refund.

Please, do your research before you donate your money to any organization.  The Daffodil Society does not appear to be a tax-exempt 501c3 non-profit organization.  If they had raised funds, what would they have done with them to aid in the research and awareness of Endometriosis?  Although a part of me wants to see Ms. Kerivan as a woman with a vision, a goal – and she was overwhelmed and unable to control a fast-growing event which spun out of control and crashed.  Her Facebook posts say she is working on a plan to refund everyone, but … it still doesn’t excuse the fact that the record keeping was substandard, the account balances don’t reflect the funds raised, and it has escalated into a horrible pissing match of he-said-she-said.  I’m hoping this all resolves for all involved and the truth comes out.

And just FYI (in case you didn’t already know), Bloomin’ Uterus is not a non-profit.  I’m just a girl with a domain name, a fictitious business license, and a vision.  Any and all funds I raise are donated directly to the Endometriosis Foundation of America by Gofundme.com and by Teespring.com.  I never see a penny.  I never want to.

Updated February 28, 2017

Resources:

Fievent

Illinois Secretary of State

LinkedIn

Putnam County Record

SlideShare

The Daffodil Society

The Daffodil Society Endometriosis Awareness Event 2016 Facebook page

The Daffodil Society Public Apology & Reimbursement Page Facebook page

The Daffodil Society: Victim’s Outreach Facebook page

9 thoughts on “Daffodil Society Embezzlement & Shut-Down

  1. Sickening that people would do something like this. What a major disappointment to many, many people, and a generally immoral thing to do period!

    I do this kind of boring stuff for a living, so I took the liberty to quickly check out the Daffodil Society’s legal entity status. If you look here: https://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/CorporateLlcController you can see that the Daffodil Soc. is (soon to be was, I presume) a legit NP that isn’t in good standing with the Illinois Sec of State.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re exactly right! A good way to check if a nonprofit corp is legit is on the secretary of state or controller’s website in the state where the corp registered. I’d personally be wary of donating to NPs that aren’t in good standing, and at least this gives people a way to verify first.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Bloomin' Uterus and commented:

    If any of you fantastic readers feel inclined to reblog or share this link, please do. The remnants of the Daffodil Society are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible who may have donated so they can contact the Society and request a refund.

    But, as usual, you’re under no obligation whatsoever to share anything 🙂 Just figured I’d put out the Call to Arms and see what happens. ❤ Lisa

    Like

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