Right Path for Washington County board members will soon decide whether to take advantage of a funding opportunity that involves instant bingo profits, a move some members say concerns them.
Under House Bill 386 signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich June 11, some of the profits from sales of instant bingo tickets at retailers in Washington County could go to the Right Path.
At its regularly-scheduled quarterly meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Right Path board members will vote yea or nay on moving forward with the process required for this new way of fundraising for its organization.
Right Path qualifies for this opportunity because it is designated a 501c3 agency and has a mission of promoting healthy youth development.
Some 7 percent to 10 percent of instant bingo profits will go to various Ohio charities with similar qualifications.
According to Russell Miller, Ohio Children's Foundation treasurer, the Right Path would act as Washington County's lead agent for this statewide initiative.
2012 Right Path Fundraisers
March 3: Second annual Washington County Rightditarod. Twelve teams raised $12,335 for 11 area food pantries.
May 11: Third annual Fish Fry/Fundraiser raises more than $3,000 to help support The Right Path's summer events.
July 22: 29th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social raises money to be shared equally with The Right Path and its pantry partners through funds established at the Marietta Community Foundation.
"As part of the process, (Right Path) has to be willing to share some of the profits with other charities within their county," said Miller.
Karen Waller, Right Path board president, said she is investigating and researching information for fellow board members prior to the Wednesday board meeting.
Waller said she believes using profits from instant bingo sales is a reasonable way for the Right Path to raise money.
"Obviously, the thing we dance around is that it becomes a partnership with (retail) establishments," Waller added.
For Lynn Doebrich, Right Path board member and fundraising chair, Right Path and its mission are a source of pride and she's not sure this would be the right move for the organization.
"I'm not so certain that rip-off tickets are promoting what we do," Doebrich said. "It's the wrong message."
If Right Path board members were to give approval to proceed with this new funding source at the upcoming board meeting, Waller wants to be sure residents, supporters and youth know the Right Path is not sanctioning bingo itself.
"We're not looking to give a stamp of approval to any adult behaviors," said Waller.
The Right Path and its board members don't want community members to think they are selling instant bingo tickets, she said.
"We are not," said Waller.
According to Waller, The Right Path isn't experiencing financial troubles, although she noted that mental health funding across the state of Ohio has been reduced.
"We obviously are going to have to look at services we supply youth in the county and make adjustments there," she said.
The Right Path currently raises funds with a spring fish fry and other fundraisers throughout the year.