Patti Blagojevich initially offered to donate all the money she raises on her reality TV show to Bear Necessities.
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 www.bearnecessities.org 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.