The Salmon Arm Observer’s Jim Elliot dukes it out with Wade Stewart during the inaugural Hit2Fit charity boxing event at Westgate Public Market in 2017. (File photo)

The Salmon Arm Observer’s Jim Elliot dukes it out with Wade Stewart during the inaugural Hit2Fit charity boxing event at Westgate Public Market in 2017. (File photo)

U.S. ticket seller leaves Salmon Arm non-profit society on the hook

Boxing for Wellness Society fundraising to cover tickets sold for cancelled Hit2Fit event

A U.S. ticket seller’s financial difficulties have left a Shuswap non-profit having to fundraise in order to provide refunds for a cancelled event.

According to Shelley Desautels of Salmon Arm’s Boxing for Wellness Society, more than $4,400 is owed for tickets purchased for this year’s Hit2Fit Boxing gala and fundraiser. The event, scheduled for April, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 2018 event, participating fighters raised $30,000 for the SAFE Society and the Shuswap Hospital Foundation. This year’s event was to support the Shuswap SPCA and Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke.

After the postponement was announced, the Boxing for Wellness Society, which runs the event, emailed everyone who purchased tickets, saying if you want to donate your funds to the society, no action was required. Those wanting a refund were advised to submit a request to Brown Paper Tickets.

“So everyone did their part in it,” said Desautels. “And then we just kind of left it thinking things were done. And then we started getting word back from ticket purchasers that they hadn’t seen any money.”

Desautels soon learned Hit2Fit ticket buyers weren’t alone.

“I started digging into it and it seems like there’s a lot of these groups that are owed money,” said Desautels.

Attempts made by the Observer to contact Brown Paper Tickets were met with automated responses.

On the company website’s contact page is a link for individuals seeking refunds. It takes you to a separate webpage with a message dated Sept. 14 from the company’s president William Jordan. In it, Jordan sates the company is working through a backlog of refund requests.

“While we can’t offer an estimated timeline for your specific refund at this moment, our team has been and continues to initiate full refunds to ticket holders (including BPT service fees) and pay event organizers on a daily basis,” reads the statement. “We continue to examine our processes to identify opportunities to safeguard customers moving forward.

“It’s a long process with thousands of events canceled, postponed, or abandoned. Like many businesses, we were unprepared for a crisis of this scale, but we are making headway.”

The next step for Boxing for Wellness was to submit a claim to the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office in Washington. From this, Desautels said the society received the portion of the ticket money that people chose to donate.

Thinking they’d made progress, Desautels and the society dropped the matter until they began receiving more complaints from ticket buyers who’d yet to receive a refund. After this, Desautels learned the Washington Attorney Generals Office, after receiving 583 complaints, had filed a lawsuit against Brown Paper Tickets which allegedly owed more than $6.75 million.

Read more: May fundraisers for Salmon Arm non-profits postponed

Read more: Hit 2 Fit charity boxing knocks it out once again

Read more: Fight night: Salmon Arm boxers punch it up for a good cause

“This is a huge thing…,” said Desautels, explaining some Hit2Fit ticket buyers were eventually able to get a refund through their credit card company. “Another person got denied. It’s been hit or miss on who is getting money back.”

Now the Boxing for Wellness Society is looking at fundraising options to cover the refunds itself.

“They are expecting us to (provide refunds) and we’ve said we would,” said Desautels. “We have said that because we don’t know when the money is going to come back, and these are people that bought tables which are $625 on their credit card that they probably want back.

“So we said we’d fundraise for it. It may take two years to get the money back but eventually you’ll get it from us.”

Desautels stressed that it is the society which oversees Hit2Fit, not Salmon Arm Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre owner Peggy Maerz, who helps organize it.

“People are going to Bulldogs Boxing thinking Peggy owes them money,” said Desautels. “But this is Boxing for Wellness which is completely separate. We’re the ones that put out the money. We’re the ones that raise the money and get the funds. Peggy doesn’t see a cent of it.”

Desautels noted the funds raised at Hit2Fit by Boxing for Wellness goes towards grants for people who want to get into boxing and might have financial difficulties or disability needs.

Looking ahead to 2021, Desautels said plans are in the works for a possible live-streamed Hit2Fit event. While this likely won’t be the big gala/dinner fundraiser of past years, part of the incentive is to keep the event going.

“We might just cover our costs. Who knows? But we don’t want to lose momentum either,” said Desautels. “So we’ll do it the way that we can for now so that when we can finally have events in the future it can come back again.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmBoxing

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system also takes Indigenous children from their families, communities and nations

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Most Read