For Immediate Release
July 7, 2010
Interim Director of Charitable Trusts Anne M. Edwards
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney issues the following consumer alert to citizens in the Hampstead area:
Nonprofit organizations soliciting donations in the State of New Hampshire are required to register with and report to the Attorney General. Ready to Play Athletic Association of Hampstead, a nonprofit, charitable organization, has not registered with the Attorney General's Charitable Trusts Unit despite repeated requests to file the required documentation. As a result Ready to Play Athletic Association of Hampstead is in violation of New Hampshire law, including, but not limited to, RSA 7:28, I (registration requirements), RSA 7:28, II (reporting requirement), RSA 7:28, VI (breach of trust), and RSA 7:28-f (penalties).
Ready to Play Athletic Association was formed in 2006 "[a]s a non-profit association committed [sic] to raising funds for area youth sports in the surrounding communities of Hampstead, Salem, Atkinson, & Windham." It is subject to the jurisdiction of the Charitable Trusts Unit pursuant to RSA 7:21, II(b)(2) ("…established, in whole or in part, for any benevolent, philanthropic, patriotic, educational, humane, scientific, public health, environmental conservation, civic, or other charitable purpose or any person who in any manner employs a charitable appeal as the basis of any solicitation or an appeal that suggests that there is a charitable purpose to any solicitation …").
On November 2, 2006, a request was made to the organization to file an application for registration. Another request was sent on November 7, 2008. On December 29, 2008, former Director Michael DeLucia sent a certified request for registration. Owen McGarrahan, one of the officers of Ready to Play Athletic Association, telephoned the Charitable Trusts Unit, stating the address of Ready to Play Athletic Association was incorrect and he hoped to file the registration by the end of January, 2009. On February 23, 2009, a letter was sent requesting the status of the application for registration. When no response was received the Director scheduled a Notice to Attend Investigation, requiring the officers and directors of Ready to Play Athletic Association to appear before him to explain why the filing requirements of New Hampshire statutes had not been satisfied. Representatives of Ready to Play Athletic Association did not appear on the date and time specified. A letter was sent on May 28, 2009, regarding this failure to appear.
On June 8, 2009, the Charitable Trusts Unit received an incomplete application for registration. On June 30, 2009, a letter was sent requesting the additional documents necessary to complete registration. Director DeLucia sent a certified request for these documents on August 17, 2009. When no response was received, the Notice to Attend Investigation was rescheduled for January 4, 2010. Again, no one appeared at the date and time scheduled. Follow-up letters were sent on January 8, 2010, and February 18, 2010, to which there were no responses. The Notice to Attend Investigation was again rescheduled to April 27, 2010, and again no one appeared. A letter was sent to all board members on May 17, 2010, stating if no response was received a consumer alert would be issued. There has been no response.
Attorney General Delaney, through current Director of Charitable Trusts, Anne Edwards, is considering pursing legal action in the Rockingham County Superior Court to compel Ready to Play Athletic Association to register with and report to the Charitable Trusts Unit. In accordance with New Hampshire law, penalties could include $10,000 for every violation of the charitable registration and solicitation laws of the State of New Hampshire.
Attorney General Delaney asks potential donors to exercise extreme caution before donating to Ready to Play Athletic Association of Hampstead and, if any citizen receives a request for donations from this organization, please notify the Charitable Trusts Unit at (603) 271-3591 immediately.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301