Lamar Odom is fighting back against the accusations that his charity, Cathy's Kids, has not put any of the $2.2 million it has raised since 2004 toward cancer research, the cause for which it reportedly raises money.
Although an ESPN report found that Odom's charity "has not given a dime in grant money to any cancer entity in its eight-year history," a representative for the basketball player (and Khloe Kardashian's husband) tells Hollywood.com that the accusations he has mishandled funds are false.
"It is unfortunate that Lamar Odom has been the target of an attack on athletes’ charities, although he has personally contributed approximately $2.2 million to his foundation, Cathy’s Kids, to fulfill its charitable purposes that include helping underprivileged inner-city youth," the rep says. "The millions of dollars personally contributed by Lamar constituted more than 90% of the money raised by the foundation. All of the funds donated by Lamar and the other contributions to Cathy’s Kids were used for one of the foundation’s intended charitable purposes. Not one penny went to help Lamar personally or any member of his family. No charitable funds were misused, and the IRS has repeatedly given Cathy’s Kids a clean bill of health, confirming that there were no improprieties."
While Cathy's Kids might have originally intended to raise money for cancer research, the charity's mission statement makes no mention of the disease. It currently reads, "Founded by Lamar Odom, Cathy’s Kids is focused on ensuring that funds are available for under-privileged youth that live in the inner cities of New York and Los Angeles. It is important to Lamar that young people, especially between the ages of 9-14, have the resources they need to get all the opportunities available to succeed in life."
The rep clarifies, "Cathy's Kids was formed with several purposes in mind, including benefitting underprivileged youth and cancer research. A decision was ultimately made that the charity should focus on one of those purposes — to help enrich the lives of underprivileged inner-city youth. It accomplished that goal. Cathy’s Kids helped fund multiple AAU basketball teams providing underprivileged youth with opportunities enriching their lives, providing financial support for coaching and travel to tournaments, helping inner-city youth on a path toward success and leading many participants go on to college."
Reporting by Lindsey DiMattina
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