Thursday, June 09, 2005

Firefighters Charity Takes Big Cut Of Gifts - from

Firefighters Charity Takes Big Cut Of Gifts - from "Firefighters Charity Takes Big Cut Of Gifts

By STEVE ANDREWS News Channel 8
Published: Jun 6, 2005
TAMPA - Americans have opened their hearts and wallets to firefighting causes since the Sept. 11 attacks, and a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue captain has raised more than $1 million because of that generosity.
The money was raised for firefighting causes. However, state records show only $175,00 went to those causes.
Most of the money went to pay the Hillsborough County- based fundraising business organized and run by Capt. George Sucarichi. Money also went to telemarketing companies, one of them owned by Sucarichi.
Sucarichi is the treasurer of the nonprofit business, called the Bay Area Council of Firefighters and Paramedics.
The BAC is listed with Florida's Division of Consumer Services as a ``charitable organization.'' However, it is not registered as a charity with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS lists it as a 501C-5 labor organization. Donations are not deductible.
The BAC seeks donations for its member organizations by telephone.
``It's like any other firefighter fundraising program,'' Sucarichi said. ``The dollars are funneled in and then the expenses are paid.''

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