The Pennsylvania charity, Second Mile, founded by former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, has decided to fold, following the Penn State sex scandal.
According to a report by The New York Times, David Woodle, chief executive of Second Mile, said the charity will transfer remaining funds to other nonprofit organizations in the hope that assistance can continue to be given to disadvantaged youth.
We're working hard to figure out how the programs can survive this event, Woodle told The Times. We aren't protective of this organization that it survives at all costs.
The unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Second Mile follow the developing Penn State sex scandal. Former Penn State coach Sandusky has been accused of 40 counts of child sexual abuse. Authorities claim that Sandusky found his eight young male victims whom he allegedly assaulted through his foundation. Sandusky and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, have maintained his innocence and deny all the allegations.
Sandusky founded the Second Mile in 1977 as a charity devoted to helping troubled boys in the State College area of Pennsylvania. Starting with only 45 children in the State College area, the organization has grown to have nine community based programs that serve over 100,000 children annually from all counties in Penns. Thousands of young boys have gone through the organization, which offers mentoring, sleep-away summer camps and other youth programs.
Sandusky's charity began as a foster home, but it grew into an extensive program that helped hundreds of disadvantaged children with absent or dysfunctional families in Pennsylvania. It also became a place where Sandusky could befriend and allegedly choose his victims.
We thought we were part of a group that was helping at-risk children, and unfortunately we were feeding Jerry's habit without our knowledge, Patricia Coble, a volunteer at the Second Mile since 2000, told ABC News. He was as slick as wax paper going down a sliding board....not too many people have said 'no' to Jerry, and unfortunately children have been victimized by him.
Cobble told ABC News that Sandusky was the only person in Second Mile allowed to see the kids outside of Second Mile-sanctioned activities.
Second Mile's longtime chief executive officer, Jack Raykovitz, resigned this week after 28 years at the charity. Woodle replaced Raykovitz as head of the organization. A number of board members and volunteers also left the organization.
On Sunday, the board authorized Lynne M. Abraham and the law firm Archer & Greiner to conduct an internal investigation of the charity, The Times reports. The investigation seeks to understand what, if anything, the Second Mile knew and how, if in any way, did they handle the allegations.
According to the grand jury report, Athletic Director Tim Curley told the charity that Sandusky had been banned from brining children to the Penn State campus following a sexual allegation against Sandusky in 2002, when graduate assistant Mike McQueary claims he saw Sandusky raping a young boy in the locker room showers.
The Times reports that Woodle declined to comment on claims that the Second Mile should have been aware of the sexual allegations and prohibited Sandusky from interacting with children privately.
It appears, however, that the charity must have known about the allegations. In 2008, Sandusky himself told the charity that he was under investigation and, in 2010, a grand jury subpoenaed Second Mile's records.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Second Mile charity also continued to deny any knowledge of allegations towards Sandusky to donors and instead continued to ask for more money for the foundation.
We specifically asked the Second Mile whether there was a grand jury investigation, Tracy Bell, a store coordinator at a Penn State souvenir shop, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. They said it was just gossip and rumors. They asked us to make another pledge.
Bell said her store has donated more than $50,000 to the charity last year.
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