Last updated on 2013.09.17
Last Tuesday I reported on Senate candidate Annette Bosworth's failure to draw a winner in her Moody County land raffle (which was reported to be raising money to send members of the National Guard 114th Fighter Wing and their families on an Alaska fishing vacation). I suggested ticketholders call Bosworth's non-profit Preventive Health Strategies and ask why the drawing hadn't taken place by July 15 as promised by the official rules.
It turns out I was talking to nobody. F.I.R.E. Missions, a Michigan non-profit incorporated just last March "to help children in Haiti live day to day and also to help educate and feed them," was helping PHS promote the raffle. F.I.R.E. Missions has a Raffle Ticket Holders page which lists... nobody. I contacted F.I.R.E. Missions through its contact page (the website offers no other contact information for the organization) for confirmation.
Registered agent and incorporator of F.I.R.E. Missions Jennifer Warren of Thompsonville, Michigan, replied this morning that Preventive Health Strategies sold no tickets for this raffle. Warren says the Moody County raffle "has been legally closed down by Preventive Health Strategies by their lawyer."
(Perhaps worth noting: when I followed up with a question about how F.I.R.E. Missions connected with Preventive Health Strategies and what other collaborations the two organizations have conducted or continue to conduct, Warren said "I have no comments at this time" and said I should direct any further questions about PHS to Annette.)
Preventive Health Strategies applied to the Secretary of State's office to conduct the Moody County raffle on April 26, 2012, just two weeks after successfully raffling off 160 acres of the Bosworth family farm in Aurora County. Annette Bosworth appears to have found all 500 people in South Dakota who were willing to spend $1000 on a 0.2% chance to acquire a small plot of farmland in her first raffle, and none were willing to take a second chance on another, smaller, apparently less farmable tract.
By the way, PHS then-exec Mathia Rall said in her April 26, 2012, raffle request letter that the Moody County land raffle would "provide funding for charitable activities within the strategic mission of PHS." Rall also wrote that the roughly 80 acres offered was worth at least $207,000. Rall's initial application made no mention of an alternative cash prize to the land.
Subsequent raffle rules offered ticketholders a choice between the land and $250,000, a significant mark-up on the estimated land value. And on April 16 of this year, Warren posted this note promoting the raffle on the F.I.R.E. Mission Team Facebook page:
This was on the 180 acres from LAST year, same concept, same organization, but they are allowing us F.I.R.E. Missions to raffle it off this year!
*** 80 Acres or $250k ***
Did I mention $50k of the ticket sales will STAY IN NORTHERN MI!?
Help me get the word out! Only 500 tickets will be sold! [Jennifer Warren, Facebook post, FIRE Missions Team, 2013.04.16]
Did you catch that penultimate line? $50K of sales stay in Michigan? Hmm... I didn't catch the part in the raffle rules or in Annette Bosworth's non-profit mission statement about helping the poor in Michigan.
With so many schemes a float, it's hard to tell what's happening in the mixed-up business/non-profit world of candidate Bosworth and her enterprising husband Chad Haber. But as it stands now, there is no raffle cash heading to Michigan or gathering dust in Chad Haber's locked desk at PHS. (I suspect Dr. Bosworth's Senate campaign fund will be similarly empty.)