There’s an important lesson in the massive embezzlement case of Manlius United Methodist Church:
An amateurishly run nonprofit is a breeding ground for fraud. On that note, I am excited and honored to announce the launching of YamVision 20/20, a nonprofit charitable organization founded by me to benefit a plucky tribe of blind African yam farmers.
Our mission is straightforward. We aim to raise $1 million to provide the Shashatutu people with a costly new drug proven to reverse the ravaging effects of parasitic yam mites on human eyesight.
It won’t be easy, but we have help, namely a streamlined organizational structure that minimizes financial oversight and focuses on getting the medication to those who need it. Pictured here is our small, incestuous board of directors, of which I am president. The board is responsible for closely monitoring the activities of our executive director and staff, which is me, and approving routine expenses such as a satellite office in Cannes, France, and a new Cadillac Escalade for our board secretary, who happens to be my dog.
We’re up against a devastating disease complicated by vexing social conditions, but with your help we will win. Please take a moment to learn about our cause:
Wedged between Botswana and Zambia in southern Africa is the tiny nation of Tawasa, a former Dutch protectorate that achieved independence in, oh, let’s call it 1952. Known as the Lichtenstein of Africa, Tawasa’s main cash crop is sweet potatoes. The best are produced in the far northeast of the country by the Shashatutu tribe, but at a terrible price. The very mite whose presence creates a chemical reaction that gives the sweet potatoes their robust flavor also causes macular degeneration in the growers.
Happily, there’s a cure. In 2001, PharmaReam—one of the world’s largest drug companies—began marketing Mitrovir, an antiviral that reverses the damaging effects of yam mites on humans. A typical course of treatment costs $12,000. Those of you of a cynical mindset will quickly theorize that by claiming to purchase Mitrovir but actually purchasing the generic at half-price, I could pocket $250,000 per year. Additionally, by distributing the drug through corrupt tribal chieftains, I could clear an additional 100,000 large in kickbacks. But guess what? That’s not going to happen, not with YamVision’s crackerjack independent board of directors watching my every move.
How can you help? Send checks or cash to:
Jeff Kramer, executive director YamVision 20/20 Syracuse New Times 1415 W. Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13204 OK, this part always makes me emotional: The Shashatutu have a saying, “Even a blind man can see with his heart.” While true, let’s face it: The whole eye thing is kind of important. Here in Central New York, we have the power to give the gift of sight to these proud, resourceful people.
Please do your part. I yam.
YAMVISION 20/20 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
An accredited local humor columnist, Jeff once came within a quarter-pound of consuming the World’s Largest Chicken Fried Steak, in Spokane, Wash. He is an online-ordained minister of the Church of Jeffentology of Central New York and a keeper of pond fish.
Miranda might be Jeff’s 13-year-old daughter, but don’t be fooled into thinking she’s on the board just to provide him with an automatic backup vote. Miranda was chosen for her cool head and independent nature and because of her ability to carefully analyze policy questions despite her hectic Instagram and gymnastics schedule.
Jeff’s father resides in a nursing home in Seattle, Wash. He “likes” numbers. Jeff has power of attorney for him. Kurt double-checks all of his accounting work with Ellie, the pet cat that lives on his floor.
Larry brings to the board a keen sense of hearing, if not listening, and a passion for wildlife. His note-taking skills can at times appear compromised, little more than a persistent, ineffectual pawing of the earth. But he makes up for it with impeccable scent memory. Larry might not be able to tell us how we voted, but he’ll know how we smelled when we did.
Randy is campaign manager of Jeff’s failing independent run for mayor of Syracuse. It was his idea to model the campaign after Anthony Weiner’s bizarre sexting activities. Randy also serves as Jeff’s driver when Jeff’s car is in the shop or his bicycle has a flat tire.