Nancy Kerrigan, Sasha Cohen, Sarah Hughes and other ice skating superstars gave their time to time and talents to ‘Stars, Stripes and Skates,’ a program to raise funds for the victims of 9/11 and other terror attacks. But it was all a charade, a new investigation claims.
Not a single dime of the millions the organizers took in was ever paid out to the intended beneficiaries, The New York Post has uncovered in an exclusive analysis.
The annual Stars, Stripes and Skates show was often held at major venues like Madison Square Garden. Kate Gosselin even came out to address the crowd in 2009 when Johnny Weir was the headliner.
In eight years, organizers grossed at least $2 million in ticket sales, and much more in “donations” made by the parents of young skaters who were always included in the shows. “They hit these parents up for more money than you could believe,” one parent told The Post.
There is no suggestion that any of the pro skaters knew the money wasn’t going as pledged. Some had their travel expenses paid, as is customary, but it appears otherwise they weren’t compensated.
Where did the money go? Tax filings show it went out the door to advertising, consultants and supplies.
Last month the IRS yanked the organization’s tax-exempt status because it had failed to file the required annual reports for three years. Founder Tara Modlin says has now been corrected.
Modlin also defended her program. The kids whose parents ponied up hundreds of dollars to be part of the shows, she told The Post “got to meet a fireman or they got to meet Nancy Kerrigan.”