Nfld. & Labrador

Alzheimer Society turns down Mud Immortal donation

The Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador has decided not to accept any money from the organizers of the Mud Immortal challenge.

The Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador has decided not to accept any money from the organizers of the Mud Immortal challenge.

The event that took place on Sept. 21 at Butter Pot Park was supposed to involve fundraising for the society. The Alzheimer Society estimated it would have received $25,000 to $30,000.

However, while Mud Immortal was seemingly a financial success - 5000 people paid an entry fee to take part - participant complaints began to pour in shortly after the event finished. They said it was poorly organized and staff were not prepared to handle the thousands of people that showed up, resulting in some injured participants. 

Organizer Jonathan Brett emailed the Alzheimer Society to say he planned to pony up the donations collected, but did not specify an amount. 

Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society Shirley Lucas said as hard as it is for them to turn down money, the society cannot accept a dime from the Mud Immortal Challenge.

"At the Alzheimer Society, we develop policies and procedures on how we conduct business, and our primary focus is to do education and support, and yes we are out there fundraising and [we] do need funds to be able to do so, but accepting donations of this nature would imply endorsement of an event that we are not comfortable with at this point," Lucas told CBC News. 

"There has been a lot of publicity out there about this event and [it's] not all positive so they certainly looked at that when they were forming their decision."

Meanwhile, Mud Immortal organizer Jonathan Brett has issued a response to the media.

Brett said he was "saddened" to hear that the society would not be accepting his donation. 

"This charity was chosen specifically as my family has been affected by this disease," Brett said in an e-mail on Thursday.

"I have asked the Society to re-consider accepting the donation. If they are still unwilling to accept the donation, we will offer the donation to another worthy charity in Newfoundland and Labrador."


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