You’ve got to hand it to Ronee Bourgeois – She always comes out swinging:
I was just informed TODAY that there was some kind of online hoopla concerning me and the FOL Empowerment Fund and, not surprisingly, Friends of Lulu has seemingly thrown me under a bus in order to save face.
First of all I will say that I no longer represent any group or other entity, so there is no holds barred anymore. I don’t have to be PC.
Basically, I spent (and I DO NOT exaggerate) about 6 hours crawling over the internet looking for the refund offer that Ronee had assured the board members that she had posted, way back when. I can’t find anything. So, Shannon and I discussed it, and what we’ve decided to do is give all fund contributors full refunds. We contacted PayPal and, according to the customer service representative we spoke with, these refunds should go through over the next couple of days. If you contributed to the fund, and you do not receive your refund after about a week, please contact either myself (you can post here or grab my email off my Profile page) or the board at: board [AT] friends-lulu [DOT] org. I will be following up with PayPal either way to make sure things are progressing the way they told me things would.
This also leads into something else I wanted to talk about. I feel (only my opinion and I could be wrong) that a lot (though not all) of the rancor leveled against Friends of Lulu is based on the fact that Ronee’s name has become inextricably linked to the Empowerment Fund. There is also the bad timing to add into the mix: the board doing it’s regular turn-over in the Fall, the fact that Ronee took off and refuses to respond to emails from myself and other board members, the amount of time it took us to prepare and begin making statements, etc). I still think that a lot of it goes back to the piss-poor way Ronee conducted both herself and everything related to this fund.
Ronee has victimized a lot of people, something which is becoming very apparent to me now as I uncover more and more information, and I would like to point out that, at the end of the day, I and the other board members were her victims, too. Ronee misrepresented everything relating to the Empowerment Fund to us from the first step onward, announced the Fund without our permission and, as soon as she had achieved the notoriety she felt she deserved, dumped the whole thing in our laps and took off, leaving us to poke through everything and try to piece together shards of disparate information.
Ronee? I’m sure you have something to add:
Give me a fucking break! I gave them all the info I had and it WAS approved. Victimizing whom? How did I victimize anyone? I did the fund and accepted the public floggings to help Taki and anyone else in this predicament. Money was given to Taki Soma and her witness for traveling back and forth to Ohio to press charges and make statements, none went to actual court costs as far as I know.
I “took off” to deal with my personal affairs and because Friends of Lulu was not what I thought it was when I signed up initially. And yes, I left FOL and I dumped it in their laps because I was tired of doing EVERYTHING for the organization that was not about the anthology or the awards. That’s all they cared about. I thought Friends Of Lulu stood for more and it took me a while, but it was very apparent that I was wrong.
I shied away from saying anything publicly but now I am being forced to…it was not my “piss poor management” people… I was the public figure because I was the PR person and the only one getting any news out there concerning FOL. I would think it was the organization’s problem as they just wanted to play tea party all day and mingle when a greater good could have been achieved. As for what they are doing now… I have no doubt they are dumping it. Because it would take a lot of work and courage to keep it! Either way, I assure you that my bleeding heart will no longer rule my decisions. Everyone can rot for all I care. FOL and snarky blogging bitches cured me of that.
Speaking as, I’m sure, one of the aforementioned “snarky blogging bitches,” I have to tell you that I’m not sure how I feel about curing anyone of a bleeding heart. Does this mean I’m a metaphorical doctor or something?