As wide receiver Anquan Boldin prepares to host his ninth annual Q-Festival next weekend in Pahokee, a charity event that raises funds to help underprivileged youths in the towns around Lake Okeechobee, he wants to make one thing clear:
“The money that we spend, as well as money out of my personal pocket, goes toward helping people,” Boldin, a recent Super Bowl champion with Baltimore and now a member of the San Francisco 49ers, said by phone Friday from the Bay Area.
“They can check my bank statements if they want, but I’ve spent well over a couple hundred grand just on charities alone. So for them to say that money is being misappropriated is definitely unfair.”
Boldin, a 10-year NFL veteran who played at Pahokee High School and Florida State, was referring to a February article in the Boston Globe that said Boldin’s charity, like some others run by high-profile athletes, spent too much on expenses compared to the amount that went to the needy.
The Globe said it examined the charity’s financial records and found that Q-Fest in 2010 raised $53,005 but spent $46,789 — 88 percent — to host the three-day event. Most of the expenses were for a golf tournament at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.
The article also stated that just 17 percent of the proceeds raised by Boldin’s Q81 Foundation in 2010 went to charity.
Boldin is well-known for his charitable work and was twice his team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year honoree, when he was with Arizona in 2004 and Baltimore in 2012.
He said the article didn’t take into account money he spends on the charity out of his own pocket.
“Do I think it was a fair article? Of course not, but again it’s just somebody trying to make a name for themselves,” Boldin said. “That math doesn’t add up. We spend more than seven grand alone in Christmas holiday shopping for underprivileged kids. Also Thanksgiving drives, summer programs to get kids back on track to graduate school, the list goes on and on.
“My foundation is about year-round helping people, period.”
According to the Globe article, nonprofit specialists say that 65-75 percent of every dollar raised should go toward the charitable mission. But David Biemesderfer, CEO of the Florida Philanthropic Network headquartered in Tampa, said Friday that there is no single standard.
“Obviously you would want as much to go to a charity as possible,” Biemesderfer said. “But sometimes these events can raise awareness and generate donations that wouldn’t be generated otherwise.