The Second Mile is delaying its plan to transfer remaining assets and funds to a Texas-based youth charity in respect to the requests of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and those who Jerry Sandusky was charged with abusing.
The Second Mile originally filed the petition to transfer specific programs and assets to the Arrow Child and Family Ministries , which has some operations in Pennsylvania, as well as headquarters in Texas and other locations in California, Honduras and Maryland.
The petition is a way of ensuring at-risk children continue to get support and help, Second Mile Interim CEO David Woodle said in a statement released on its website Monday morning.
The petition, previously filed on May 25, has been delayed until further notice as an attempt to allow “any pending or future claims filed by Jerry Sandusky's victims to be resolved before key programs or assets are considered for transfer,” according to the statement.
Those individuals known as John Doe A, as well as those listed in the grand jury presentment as “Victim 3,” “Victim 5” and “Victim 7,” entered the delay in the transfer of funds, along with The Second Mile and the Attorney General, according to court documents.
Woodle also said that until The Second Mile closes, it hopes to continue its programs until assets are transferred. Recent programs held this summer, including the Challenge Summer Camps and the Friend mentoring program, were well-received and attended, Woodle said.
Specifically, this fall will feature the Friend program and the Friend Fitness program, both of which work to match children with adult role models to engage them in activities outside of a traditional classroom, Woodle said.
“The participant support is strong and the reason for that is that they've been coming to these programs for the past three or four years,” he said. “Sandusky hasn’t been coming for the past few years.”
If and when the hold on the petition is removed, Arrow Child and Family Ministries could be looking at about $2 million in funding for programs, should the courts approve the money, Woodle said.
Donors of The Second Mile are also in support of the continuation of the programs, Woodle said. No matter where their money ends up, it will still be used to support children in need, he said.
Woodle said 70 percent of the Second Mile’s donors supported the transition of funds.
Arrow CEO Mark Tennant also said he supports the decisions of the Second Mile through this process and wants the focus to remain on those individuals who Sandusky was charged with abusing, according to the statement on The Second Mile website.
“Since the beginning of this tragedy, my objective has been to be a part of the healing process and given the circumstances. I believe this action is an important step toward that goal,” Tennant said in the statement.
The delay in the petition, however, will not affect the on-going external investigation of the organization and The Second Mile will “[continue] to cooperate fully,” Woodle said in the statement.
The Second Mile is the charity Sandusky founded. Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coach, was convicted in June on 45 counts of sexually abusing children he met through The Second Mile.