CHARITIES: Don't stop giving because of Curtis charges - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CHARITIES: Don't stop giving because of Curtis charges

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB NEWS) -- The U. S. Attorneys Office says no date has yet been set for Stan Curtis's first appearance in Federal Court to answer embezzlement charges.

Sources have told WDRB News that Curtis is seriously ill and unable to make any court appearances. 

On Wednesday, Curtis was charged with stealing $183,000 from one of the charitable organizations he founded, USA Harvest.  He faces other charges, including failing to report personal income.  On Wednesday his attorney hinted a plea deal might be in the works.

Curtis is also the founder of Kentucky Harvest and Blessings in a Backpack.  All of the charities he founded are pleading with the community for continued support. They hope to continue their good works

The believe the community will continue to support them despite the charges against Curtis.  Not only was Curtis the founder of the three organizations, but he was the face of them for many years, drumming up support for them with numerous public appearances.

"Stan Curtis has done a lot of good work in the community and for millions of kids around the country, so my reaction is sadness," Louisville Mayor Fischer told WDRB on Thursday.

Now that Curtis faces criminal charges, WDRB News looked into what the fallout might be on the charities.  "It is an isolated event, we hope the community will continue to view it that way, and I think they will," says Louisville attorney Steve Pence, who represents Kentucky Harvest and Blessings in a Backpack.

Pence says, "The mission of Blessings in a Backpack and Kentucky Harvest are far bigger than any one person, including Stan Curtis."

Pence points out that none of the charities themselves have been accused of any wrongdoing and only USA Harvest suffered losses.  He says Curtis ended his association with the organizations earlier this year.

He says Kentucky Harvest has done a lot of good since Curtis founded the organizations in 1987, collecting more than 60 million pounds of food, and that Blessings in a Backpack feeds more than eight thousand kids a week in Jefferson County alone.

"I think when people see the good work that both organizations do, they will continue to support them," added Pence.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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