Restoring Courage at the Holly Cancelled

Dahlonega Tea Party’s Restoring Courage event at the Holly Theater has been cancelled by the theater’s executive board.

A letter dated five days before the event alleges that a Tea Party event would endanger their 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status.

A letter dated three days before the event alleges that the non-profit status would be violated by the Glenn Beck broadcast being held in the theater.

It appears the Holly Executive Board had a difficult time deciding just exactly why it is they had to cancel the Restoring Courage event.

One member of the executive board stated to the Tea Party representative, “This is, after all, a theater; you won’t find any Republicans here.” Could it be that the Holly Executive Board members are discriminating against a group or event due to perceived political leanings not to their liking? You be the judge.

They are not well informed:

  • Both Glenn Beck and the Tea Party are nonpartisan.  Beck’s event is organized in support of Israel, an important US ally, and Glenn is well known for his criticism of both parties. The Tea Party would like to see both parties stop spending money we do not have and operate in compliance with the Constitution.
  • An IRS regulation cannot be used to discriminate against any one group.  The regulations specifically state that they are “not intended to restrict free expression on political matters” or curtail programs that are educational in nature. In fact, it is such discrimination that could endanger the tax-exempt status of the Holly.

The fact remains, the Holly Executive Board violated the Holly’s agreement with the Dahlonega Tea Party by illegally cancelling a contract without the required 30 day notice.

By Ivana Pelnar-Zaiko, Ph.D., retired in 2008 from a career as non-profit executive that included positions at private colleges and a major international consulting company in non-profit management.  She has advised universities and arts non-profits in the US, Germany, Denmark, Bulgaria, and the country of Georgia through a program of the US Department of State.

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