State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Woodle: Second Mile Considering Options; Dissolution Possible

on November 18, 2011 6:45 PM

The State College-based Second Mile charity is weighing several options, including possible dissolution of the organization, acting chief executive David Woodle said this week.

Woodle, a volunteer board member for the charity, has taken over the executive role since the announced departure earlier this week of longtime executive Jack Raykovitz.

Raykovitz and the youth-service charity overall have faced growing public scrutiny since charges were filed Nov. 5 against Jerry Sandusky, the organization's founder. Sandusky, accused of a prolonged pattern of child sexual abuse, is facing 40 criminal charges.

He also is a former Penn State football coach. Second Mile events were a venue through which Sandusky met some boys he is accused of abusing, prosecutors have said. An investigation is ongoing.

"The allegations are horrific to us," Woodle said, "and totally opposed to what this organization is about."

Speaking with, he said The Second Mile has undertaken two critical steps in light of the allegations.

First, Woodle said, it has launched a self-initiated internal investigation, having brought in former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham to assist.

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While that process is ongoing, he said, he will decline to answer media questions about who internally may have had prior knowledge of concerns over Sandusky.

On the second front, Woodle went on, The Second Mile is contemplating the organization's future. Support for continuation of Second Mile programs has been overwhelming, though the future of fundraising for the group is less clear, he said.

The Second Mile depends heavily on some $2 million in annual donations to finance its operations.

"We are going to talk with those we support -- and those who support us" to determine the next steps, Woodle said. " ... We're still brainstorming."

Options facing The Second Mile include dissolution of the core organization, he said. If that were to happen, Woodle explained, the group would likely to try to identify other organizations that "can inherit the benefits and the best of the programs."

Woodle said another option is to downsize and re-brand The Second Mile.

"We've just got to figure out what's best for the kids," he said.

The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that The Second Mile is already preparing to dissolve. But in a statement to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Woodle said that's not the case.

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