Chicago Sun-Times
Inside the Rod Blagojevich investigation and related cases

Cancer group refuses Patti's charity from reality show -- says Blago accused of extorting partner

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Patti Blagojevich initially offered to donate all the money she raises on her reality TV show to Bear Necessities.
One catch.
Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is affiliated with Children's Memorial Hospital. Rod Blagojevich is accused of shaking down the Children's Memorial Hospital executive director for a $50,000 campaign contribution. According to charges, Blagojevich said he'd hold up state funding for Children's Memorial if he didn't get the money. So Bear Necessities said: thanks, but no thanks, to Patti.
"We're very flattered to be considered. Just because of the charges against the former governor in association with Children's we don't want to harm that relationship with them," Bear Necessities PR Director Courtney Krupa told me today.
Krupa said NBC approached them last Tuesday. The board took it up and turned it down. The foundation notified NBC Thursday, Krupa said.
Krupa said it was unfortunate that the foundation had to turn down the offer.
"It is (unfortunate) in a sense that it's a good opportunity for us for potential dollars coming in as well as public awareness for the organization," she said. "Our board felt that with everything going on and with the charges against the former governor with Children's we just want to be cautious because we don't want to harm relationships with supporters."

ADDENDUM from Patti's PR agency: When the men voted to give Patti Blagojevich immunity on 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' children battling cancer and their families benefitted.

That's because the longer a celebrity stays on the NBC blockbuster summer program, the more money that goes to a celebrity's charity of choice. And Blagojevich, the wife of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, chose the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa.

For those who do want to donate to the pediatric cancer foundation, visit or call the general number 312-214-1200.

Here's the statement from Bear Necessities (not to be confused with Bare Necessities) on Patti Blagojevich:

Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation was recently approached by the producers of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" to be the official charity for former Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich. We were flattered to be considered for a high profile opportunity to raise money and awareness for Bear Necessities. However, we declined the opportunity because her husband, former Gov. Blagojevich, faces federal charges which include an alleged extortion of our partner, Children's Memorial Hospital. We wish the show and Mrs. Blagojevich the best of luck and appreciate the offer. However, our long time partnership with Children's has made great strides in fulfilling Bear's mission of curing the scourge of pediatric cancer and we would never want to do anything to harm that relationship.

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Truly unbelievable, to think that money that could easily help children be refused for such a bunch of political B.S. This charity doesn’t deserve to be classified as such if their so “uppity”. As for Children’s Memorial, I used to respect them and their work. Now I wouldn’t bring my dog to them.

I try to determine a person by their character..not their HUSBANDS. So far Patti seems pretty down-to-earth and self-aware. It sounds like the men on the show think so too since they gave her immunity for the vote. Im much more offended by the used up supermodel.

I for one am sick of all the BLAGOS.....if she really wanted to help her family.....MCDONALD'S is hiring. all she is doing is spewing how her hubby is NOT GUILTY....misundedrstood....helped people....BLAH BLAH BLAH...I bet anything RODDY wrote her the words to say...NBC never shpould have sought either one of them out. As far as the charity refusing the money.......ITS TAINTED SHE'S TAINTED...maybe now she will get it through her THICK HEAD that she's never going to get anywhere thanks to SHODDY RODDY...

I don't quite get the charity not wanting the money- This has nothing to do with ROD, so the money isn't tainted or tied to campaign contributions etc. How dare beggars be choosers. you barely have a pot to piss in but want to choose whose pot you use- What a messed up world.

It's dumb to turn down Patti's goodwill gesture. I feel bad for the Blago family now. Why don't we leave them alone? They have two young children and deserve a chance to live a normal life. Rod already lost his job and reputation, and that's enough punishment. Have some mercy!!!

I am a long time supporter of Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, or I should say I was. I don't believe they need my yearly $1,000 donation, after turning down the opportunity to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'd rather believe that, than believe they are playing politics with the live of suffering children. I don't want to think they sided with a healthy wealthy man as opposed to suffering children. I will be diverting my hard earned money to St. Judes.

Wow, saying No to free money to help an important cause. I dont get it---they dont say NO to my donations and how do they know if I'm under indictment or not?

A bit hypercritical as well political---two things which should never enter into Good Causes.

I certainly hope she leaves tonight. If she truly wanted to "help her family" she'd be doing any job, and I mean any....that would have her, even if it was flipping burgers. This is just another rouse to get publicity for that things she calls a husband. And what kind of husband is he for letting her go there? Just shows he's out for himself only. But, that is who and what he is. She thinks shutting up is goign to keep her on the show, and I think she conned spencer into asking her, because her speech was most certainly rehearsed. And Janice has to be nuts ... just like spencer!

I disagree I like Patti maybe her husband isn't the snake every one thinks he is and I don't think she will be out tonight give her a chance!!

HA! Smartest move they ever made. Couldn't you see it now, they'd get "X" dollars, and then Rod would somehow try to extort that money from them! lol!!!

She's leaving tonight. If she doesn't, it's fixed.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on June 2, 2009 1:01 PM.

Ethics group calls for public hearings on Sen. Roland Burris appointment was the previous entry in this blog.

Blago on Huckabee: 'Burris turned us down.' But did he? is the next entry in this blog.

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