Strive board donated money to pay Beaufort County School District; bank not repaid

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Strive board donated money to pay Beaufort County School District; bank not repaid

By RACHEL HEATON
rheaton@beaufortgazette.com
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012   |  525 Words  |  

Strive to Excel had 63 cents in the bank when it closed last December.

So board members donated the money to reimburse the Beaufort County School District for salary and benefits given to Strive's president, Tim Singleton, and to pay other "small creditors," according to a dissolution plan filed with the S.C. Attorney General's Office.

It's not clear if donations were made by all the board members of the embattled nonprofit mentoring program that operated out of Hilton Head Island High School.

Board secretary Tom Gardo, treasurer Robert Trask and Singleton declined comment. Attempts to reach board president Ike Evans and board member Lynne Anderson were unsuccessful.

In November, Gardo said Strive had had no problem raising $96,000 from donors between September and November, despite ongoing controversy about the organization's financial and governance problems. Strive's arrangement with the school district allowed Singleton to receive health benefits and a portion of his Strive salary through the district. Strive then reimbursed the district for those expenses, plus the employer's contribution to Singleton's health insurance.

The organization was billed about $6,640 on Jan. 20, the amount for salary and benefits for Singleton from October through December of 2011.

The amount was paid in full within a week, and Strive left no debt with the district, according to operational services chief Phyllis White.

According to the dissolution plan, First Federal Bank was notified that Strive would not pay its outstanding debt.

It's not clear how much that debt is. Strive's most recent tax filings indicate the organization had lines of credit totaling $167,450 as of May 31, 2011. Gardo previously indicated that credit was issued by several different banks, but he declined to identify them or say how many were owed money. He also declined to say how the credit was used.

First Federal officials declined to comment.

Bob Arundell, the tax attorney and former school board member who prepared Strive's taxes, said many questions would be answered by Strive's final tax filing. A copy of that form will be sent to The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette when it is completed, he said.

He declined further comment.

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

Related content

  1. Strive to Excel has dissolved, but details are scarce; March 18, 2012
  2. Strive's amended tax form adjusts CEO pay downward; new one lists $10,000 personal loan; Jan. 20, 2012
  3. Strive faces series of hoops before it can dissolve; Jan. 16, 2012
  4. Sec. of State cites Strive for violations; AG requests financial information; Jan. 6, 2012
  5. Strive spokesman says board won't answer questions about past finances; Nov. 23, 2011