The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation presented 17 high schoolers and 10 primary school children from the Belize, Cayo and Corozal Districts with scholarships yesterday. However, the foundation isconfronting a break with key founders Bruce Sanchez Sr. and Jr., who according to president Dr. Alvaro Rosado, have a different vision in mind for the future of the Foundation. Dr. Rosado commented on this on Wednesday.
Doctor Alvaro Rosado
“We have tried every other way. We went even through the court system, [it] went into mediation, and there was no resolution. We had the first case management on Monday, and the Judge made certain rulings, that we hope will lead to an amicable conclusion of this matter. It’s not the fact of being treasurer. The fact is that my wife and I were not very savvy about foundations or organizations of this sort. Mr. Sanchez approached us and offered to help us to organize a ride. We didn’t know anything about rides, but it’s attractive because it’s Ariel’s sport. But after the ride came about, the Sanchez’ then decided that they were not happy about how the funds were being used. The funds were being used to provide scholarships. That is what we do with the funds. But apparently there were some differences about how the money should be used and because we had invited them to be signatories to the bank account, we had set it up so that it would be one of the Sanchez’ and one of the Rosado’s, just to make sure that everything was clear and transparent. The Sanchez’ then decided to hold us ransom and refused to sign checks.”
The matter is now before the courts but Dr. Rosado held out hope for a successful resolution.
“Mr Sanchez was never using any money. There was no formal approach from the Sanchez’ as to how to use the money. They just decided that they would not be signing the cheques, until, I suppose, we decided to go along with whatever they wanted. The money is used for scholarships. That’s all it is used for. At the present we have about forty four thousand dollars in the bank account that is frozen. My wife and I have been using personal funds, to try to continue the work of the foundation, because we are very confident that there will be a resolution very soon.”
On Thursday Bruce Sanchez Sr. and Jr. sent out a press release under the letterhead of the Matura-Shepherd Law Firm in which it says that monies from the annual bike ride in memory of Ariel Rosado were strictly intended to meet the Foundation’s objective of providing educational opportunities in high school to less fortunate Belizeans and also to promote sports. The problem, they say, is that there are no proper guidelines on the operation of the Foundation, which has allowed for request to sign cheques made out to Dr. Rosado without proper documentation for its use and purpose, monies paid out without invoice or receipts for records; Dr. Rosado and his wife Dorla essentially assuming control of finances and abusing funds and expenses without consultation with the Sanchezes, to the tune of $13,293.55. Additionally, the Sanchezes say there is a new entity emulating and collecting monies under the Foundation’s name, unknown to donors. There is now an interim court order in place removing Drs. Alvaro and Dorla Rosado, as well as the Sanchezes, from managing the Scotiabank account, which is now under the charge of two trustees, and that the court is ordered that the trust deed guiding the conduct of the foundation be written and approved by the court. By court order, the Rosados are dissuaded from starting a competing interest, collecting any funds from the public for the Ariel Rosado Scholarship Fund and not the foundation. Bruce Sanchez stated, “All we have been asking for is accountability and proper processes to be put in place so there is no one man imposing his decisions on others and so that the public who keeps supporting this worthy cause knows that their monies are being well spent.”