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The Second Mile Delaying Asset Transfer Pending Settlement of Lawsuits

by on August 27, 2012 11:45 AM

Attorneys for The Second Mile agreed to hold off on their pursuit of transferring nearly $2 million in assets and closing the charity for good until all lawsuits are settled and any outstanding legal issues are resolved. 

A petition was filed on Monday by attorneys for The Second Mile asking that they still be able to pursue transferring the assets to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, a Houston-based charity with operations in Pennsylvania founded by a survivor of child sexual abuse.

Jerry Sandusky's victims 3, 5 and 7 had objected to the nearly $2 million in asset transfer.

Dave Woodle, the current leadership at The Second Mile, the charity founded by Jerry Sandusky, released a statement on Monday on The Second Mile's website

"The Second Mile (TSM), a 35-year-old nonprofit dedicated to helping young people reach their full potential, in agreement with the Attorney General and certain of the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse, has requested that the Court stay its Petition for Distribution of Assets previously filed by The Second Mile with the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County – Orphans' Court Division, CEO David Woodle said today. In the Petition, The Second Mile had requested the transfer of certain programs and assets to Arrow Child & Family Ministries, a Texas-based child welfare charity with operations in Pennsylvania, as a way to ensure the continuation of The Second Mile's summer camps and mentoring programs. Although those victims had objected to the Petition, and requested that any ruling be delayed until their claims were resolved, they recognized the value of the programs and acknowledged that "TSM has undoubtedly helped children."

"Our goal is to ensure that the at-risk children who benefit from The Second Mile programs continue to receive the support they need while also being mindful of Jerry Sandusky's victims and the horrible abuse they suffered. Both The Second Mile and Arrow feel that staying the Petition at this time will better serve all involved as it limits further stress on the victims and avoids unnecessary litigation costs," Woodle said. He added that The Second Mile has reserved the right to request that the Court consider the Petition if circumstances change and the transfer of the programs is needed for their continuation.

"Subject to future developments and operations, this action will allow any pending or future claims filed by Jerry Sandusky's victims to be resolved before key programs or assets are considered for transfer. According to Woodle, The Second Mile hopes to continue to operate the programs during this period. He noted that the recently completed Challenge Summer Camps were attended by approximately 300 children and the Friend mentoring program is scheduled to start this fall in partnership with several local college campuses.

"Since the beginning of this tragedy, my objective has been to be a part of the healing process and given the circumstances, I believe this action is an important step toward that goal," said Mark Tennant, a Pennsylvania native who is founder and CEO of Arrow Child & Family Ministries. Tennant himself was a victim of child sexual abuse and was removed from his home and raised in foster care. "Arrow is deeply committed to helping children and families in central Pennsylvania and we will continue to serve the community by providing foster care, adoption services, and programs to restore families in crisis," he added. Arrow Child & Family Ministries is a leader in serving children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. Arrow operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, California and Honduras.

"Woodle also noted that the request to stay the Petition has no impact on the various external investigations by authorities. "The external investigations are on-going and we are continuing to cooperate fully," Woodle stated."

The Second Mile has a status conference scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Centre County Courthouse, as ordered by Judge William Morgan. 

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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