The Salmon Arm Observer’s Jim Elliot dukes it out with Wade Stewart during the inaugural Hit2Fit charity boxing event at Westgate Public Market in 2017. (File photo)

The Salmon Arm Observer’s Jim Elliot dukes it out with Wade Stewart during the inaugural Hit2Fit charity boxing event at Westgate Public Market in 2017. (File photo)

U.S. ticket seller leaves Shuswap non-profit society owing money

Boxing for Wellness Society fundraising to cover tickets sold for cancelled Hit2Fit event

A U.S. ticket seller’s financial difficulties have left a Shuswap non-profit having to fundraise in order to provide refunds for a cancelled event.

According to Shelley Desautels of Salmon Arm’s Boxing for Wellness Society, more than $4,400 is owed for tickets purchased for this year’s Hit2Fit Boxing gala and fundraiser. The event, scheduled for April, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 2018 event, participating fighters raised $30,000 for the SAFE Society and the Shuswap Hospital Foundation. This year’s event was to support the Shuswap SPCA and Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke.

After the postponement was announced, the Boxing for Wellness Society, which runs the event, emailed everyone who purchased tickets, saying if you want to donate your funds to the society, no action was required. Those wanting a refund were advised to submit a request to Brown Paper Tickets.

“So everyone did their part in it,” said Desautels. “And then we just kind of left it thinking things were done. And then we started getting word back from ticket purchasers that they hadn’t seen any money.”

Desautels soon learned Hit2Fit ticket buyers weren’t alone.

“I started digging into it and it seems like there’s a lot of these groups that are owed money,” said Desautels.

Attempts made by the Observer to contact Brown Paper Tickets were met with automated responses.

On the company website’s contact page is a link for individuals seeking refunds. It takes you to a separate webpage with a message dated Sept. 14 from the company’s president William Jordan. In it, Jordan sates the company is working through a backlog of refund requests.

“While we can’t offer an estimated timeline for your specific refund at this moment, our team has been and continues to initiate full refunds to ticket holders (including BPT service fees) and pay event organizers on a daily basis,” reads the statement. “We continue to examine our processes to identify opportunities to safeguard customers moving forward.

“It’s a long process with thousands of events canceled, postponed, or abandoned. Like many businesses, we were unprepared for a crisis of this scale, but we are making headway.”

The next step for Boxing for Wellness was to submit a claim to the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office in Washington. From this, Desautels said the society received the portion of the ticket money that people chose to donate.

Thinking they’d made progress, Desautels and the society dropped the matter until they began receiving more complaints from ticket buyers who’d yet to receive a refund. After this, Desautels learned the Washington Attorney Generals Office, after receiving 583 complaints, had filed a lawsuit against Brown Paper Tickets which allegedly owed more than $6.75 million.

Read more: May fundraisers for Salmon Arm non-profits postponed

Read more: Hit 2 Fit charity boxing knocks it out once again

Read more: Fight night: Salmon Arm boxers punch it up for a good cause

“This is a huge thing…,” said Desautels, explaining some Hit2Fit ticket buyers were eventually able to get a refund through their credit card company. “Another person got denied. It’s been hit or miss on who is getting money back.”

Now the Boxing for Wellness Society is looking at fundraising options to cover the refunds itself.

“They are expecting us to (provide refunds) and we’ve said we would,” said Desautels. “We have said that because we don’t know when the money is going to come back, and these are people that bought tables which are $625 on their credit card that they probably want back.

“So we said we’d fundraise for it. It may take two years to get the money back but eventually you’ll get it from us.”

Desautels stressed that it is the society which oversees Hit2Fit, not Salmon Arm Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre owner Peggy Maerz, who helps organize it.

“People are going to Bulldogs Boxing thinking Peggy owes them money,” said Desautels. “But this is Boxing for Wellness which is completely separate. We’re the ones that put out the money. We’re the ones that raise the money and get the funds. Peggy doesn’t see a cent of it.”

Desautels noted the funds raised at Hit2Fit by Boxing for Wellness goes towards grants for people who want to get into boxing and might have financial difficulties or disability needs.

Looking ahead to 2021, Desautels said plans are in the works for a possible live-streamed Hit2Fit event. While this likely won’t be the big gala/dinner fundraiser of past years, part of the incentive is to keep the event going.

“We might just cover our costs. Who knows? But we don’t want to lose momentum either,” said Desautels. “So we’ll do it the way that we can for now so that when we can finally have events in the future it can come back again.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BoxingSalmon Arm

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read