Club owner apologizes for delay, gets fundraiser money to family
PORTLAND, Ore. - A club promoter used the name of the little girl who died in the party bus accident earlier this year to sell tickets to a fundraiser he planned, but the family called KATU when they never got the check.
Angie Hernandez, 11, fell out of the window of a party bus as it rounded a corner in Southwest Portland in September and died before paramedics could get her to a hospital. Investigators found serious violations with the bus' emergency windows.
The Annex Club in Oregon City planned a big fundraiser in November with the family's blessing that was called a "Benefit for Angie Hernandez." It charged $7 a person. But Hernandez' adopted grandmother, Jan McCafferty, who manages her memorial fund, says the club's managers never sent money and stopped returning phone calls. McCafferty's related to Hernandez by marriage.
The family wasn't expecting to get rich from the fundraiser, but they thought a few hundred dollars would really help pay Hernandez' funeral expenses, so on a Saturday in November bands played all night in Hernandez' memory.
The Annex posted invitations on the web and on Facebook, but after the music stopped that Saturday, more than a month ago, so did the communication.
"Over time I became more and more frustrated - frustrated not so much that the check hadn't arrived but there wasn't even a response, which left me with the impression that the intention was not to follow through on the commitment that they had made," McCafferty said.
On Monday, the club finally followed through after KATU News tried to contact it Monday. Johnny Ashy, the owner of The Annex, gave the $500 check to McCafferty with an apology.
"I apologize for not having this delivered to you in a more timely fashion," he said when he delivered the check to McCafferty at her home.
By phone, Ashy told KATU News that he and his promoter simply procrastinated all this time and that's why it took so long. He apologized many times and promised there was no bad intent.