WASHINGTON CITY

Paper’s report on endorsed

charity fund-raising events (“Poor Image,” 1/12) was not only misleading, but potentially damaging to the many nonprofit organizations that depend on such benefits for crucial funds.

At Whitman-Walker Clinic, we define an endorsed event as one in which the individual or group may use the Clinic’s name for the purpose of raising money for our programs. In order to receive permission to host an endorsed event, an application, along with a proposal describing the event in detail, must be completed and approved. This process ensures that our name will not be used under false pretenses.

It is true that, occasionally,

we do not receive money from

an endorsed event. This can

occur when the event is too

ambitious or due to inclement weather. However, in the last

year, over 200 such benefits have been held on our behalf, raising tens of thousands of desperately needed dollars for our work.

In fact, less than five of these 1995 events failed to result in

a donation to the Clinic.

Your article also questions the integrity of establishments like Club Zei that are often the site of fund-raising events. For the record, if it were not for the generosity of Club Zei and other restaurants and clubs around the city who donate space and staff time for the benefit of charities like Whitman-Walker, many events would never make any money.

Our concern is that readers may become skeptical of events associated not only with our name, but with the names of hundreds of other worthy

causes in the Washington, D.C., area. The public needs to be aware that “scams” associated with charitable events are rare and, in fact, are often a lifeline for cash-strapped service organizations.

In an era when the public’s perception of fund-raising and solicitation for charity is becoming increasingly negative, City Paper should be focusing on ways to boost—not stifle—our efforts to survive.

Assistant Director of Development

for Special Events

Whitman-Walker Clinic

Logan Circle