SOURCE: The Loftus Company

July 10, 2006 06:30 ET

Rhythm & Blues Foundation on Solid Ground and Eagerly Anticipating the Future

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 10, 2006 -- Rhythm & Blues Foundation Board Chair Kendall Minter and Executive Director Kayte Connelly issued a joint statement announcing the state of the foundation is solid.

"As the dust settles from the 2006 Pioneer Awards, we are happy to report that we are on solid financial ground. More than 700 people attended the Awards show, during which $70,000 in grants were awarded to our Pioneer Honorees and we are awarding an additional $5,000 Legacy Scholarship in the Fall, 2006," Connelly stated. "With all the music community support and sponsorships, the Pioneer Awards should generate additional funds for the Doc Pomus Financial Assistance Programs."

Minter addressed past criticism, "Yes, we have experienced financial difficulties in past few years due in large part to the recent mergers, acquisitions and consolidation in the music industry and the large diversion of charitable donations following 9/11 and Katrina to relief organizations, but we have worked diligently to rectify those problems. While corporate and individual donations have decreased slightly over the past few years, the Foundation has continued to provide financial assistance to deserving R & B pioneer artists in need and has not turned away any qualified applicants. Our core mission has never wavered or been diverted. The Foundation has also instituted several new policies aimed at strengthening our internal corporate governance; has engaged a new CPA firm to conduct an audit and make any amendments to previous tax filings that may be deemed appropriate; and we have elected a new Treasurer (Shawn Gee), Fund Development Chairs and Finance Committee Chairman." He added, "The past treasurer/interim administrative director has resigned."

He also explained, "We entered into a new relationship with Millennium Beverages in 2003 which was intended to run for three years. In 2003, Millennium Beverages was a Platinum Sponsor for our Pioneer awards show and that sponsorship resulted in a one time $50,000 donation to the Foundation. We did not host a Pioneer Awards show in 2004 or 2005 and the agreement expired."

"Finally," Minter stated, "We have distributed $825,000 in grants for medical and non-medical purposes to artists in need since 2000, with $614,000 being given out since 2003. The Foundation is the only organization in the world that does what we do and the benefits are not only needed but also quite often a financial life support cushion for the beneficiaries."

Connelly added, "The R&B Foundation is in Philadelphia, with grants of $250,000 for the next two years and under new leadership. We have a new energy, a new location and new funding strategies. We are following solid business models."

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation is an independent non-profit service organization with a worldwide reputation for meeting the needs of former rhythm and blues artists. Officially established in 1988, the mission of the R&B Foundation is to promote recognition, financial support, educational outreach and historic and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music through various grants and programs in support of R&B and Motown artists from the 1940s through the 1970s. The Foundation was housed in Washington, DC and New York City, until the recent move to Philadelphia in April of 2005. The offices are currently located at 100 South Broad Street, Suite 620, Philadelphia, PA 19110.

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