Varsity Gold Discount Cards and Cookie Dough School Fundraisers
Financial trouble with Varsity Gold Fundraising causes office lock-out and change from chapter 11 filing to chapter 7 filing.
Employees confirm that the office is no longer operating and reps are officially out of work after being on unpaid vacation. According to posts at the PTO Today website, court filings were changed from chapter 11 (re-organization) to chapter 7 (liquidation) and the office was locked down (confirmed by Tim Sullivan founder, PTO Today link ).
Court documents show heavy debts that will remain unpaid to vendors and reps but the cause of the bankruptcy was leveraging Varsity Gold to invest in failed business opportunities. From their website they explain "The reason we are in (bankruptcy) has nothing to do with our fundamental business; rather, it was the result of investments in businesses unrelated to Varsity Gold."
What does it all mean? How are schools affected?
- There may be over 200 reps without a job in an economic time where finding work is trying. (Our thoughts are with the many reps that are now out of work.)
-There are a number of reps that will not see any pay from previous successful fundraisers they helped schools conduct. There are likely a number of very devastated households as a result.
-It is likely that any promises, pending business, student rewards (limo lunch rides, carnivals, prizes earned, refunds etc.) that are scheduled but not paid for will not be honored since the company is no longer operating.
-There may be some schools that are in the middle of a fundraiser that will not be able to submit their order for processing and product fulfillment. This means that it is possible that some schools will have to refund all customers.
- (This one hurts to admit) There may be some schools that paid for cookie dough or other products that will not get product or a refund. This is a logical possibility since a school or group may have paid but the payment was not forwarded to the vendor that would supply the product. (I don't have any hard examples. Please contact me if you have any examples of schools in limbo.)
- Of course, Varsity Gold was the largest fundraising company with respect to discount cards and a large company with respect to cookie dough and magazine sales. The schools and groups relying on them for needed funding will no longer be able to count on them.
This is sad news for everyone counting on the company for employment, trade or as a customer and still, is a stark reminder that fiscal responsibility cannot be taken lightly. Our thoughts are with everyone adversely affected.
This story is not widely reported on. If you have any comments to add, feedback to share or have any facts not mentioned in my blog, please reply with a comment or reach me another way (twitter - @believekids) or on the www.believekids.com/talk message board.
If we are in a capacity to help anyone affected, please let us know.