Dominion golf tournament donates $400,000 to charity, sets higher goal for 2019

In its second year, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic raised more than $400,000 for charities in the Richmond region, an increase over 2017's giving of $250,000. Dominion chairman Thomas F. Farrell, II, was on hand for the announcement Wednesday morning at the Country Club of Virginia. He said the reason Dominion helped bring the tournament to Richmond was because of the strong charitable component. This year's tournament will take place from Oct. 18-21, and will once again be a part of the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Farrell said that Dominion has set a goal of increasing charitable giving from the tournament to $1 million per year. To that end, the tournament will continue its Birdies for Charity program, where donations can be made that are tied to the number of birdies golfers make during the tournament. Other dignitaries on hand Wednesday included representatives from various charities, Henrico Country and the PGA Tour Champions. They saluted the event, which has won the Players Award for the best event on tour in each of its two seasons. Tournament director Steve Schoenfeld said the momentum continues to grow behind the event. "I think if you can land in a market with a new event and make it a community event, the players see that and feel that when they come," he said. "We've generated big crowds, we've got lots of sponsors and volunteers, the Richmond community is behind the event and it's very apparent to the players that's the case. They love coming to Richmond." Continue Reading

Trump’s inaugural committee gave less than expected to charity while giving a large sum of cash to a top Melania adviser

Allan Smith, provided by Published 1:14 pm, Thursday, February 15, 2018 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images President Donald Trump's inaugural committee donated less than expected to charity, The New York Times reported. Trump's inaugural committee spent a record $107 million on the inauguration festivities. The New York Times reported Thursday that President Donald Trump's inaugural committee paid more than $25 million to an event-planning firm founded by a close adviser to first lady Melania Trump while donating $5 million, a lower-than-expected total, to charity. Those findings were the result of tax filings released Thursday, The Times noted. The committee, a nonprofit group tasked with overseeing Trump's inauguration and connected events, spent a record $107 million on the events. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Woman ejected from SUV dies when vehicle lands on top of her San Antonio Express-News Squatter blamed for blaze at S.A. home San Antonio Express-News 2 women cut each other in knife fight San Antonio Express-News Mom rolls SUV off S.A. highway on way to child's school San Antonio Express-News Body Goes Missing From Funeral Home — and Family's Lawyers Blame Employee Who Was 'Into Satan' People 4 suspects detained after leading police in chase across San Antonio San Antonio Express-News San Antonio shooting victim walks to store, waves while being carted into ambulance San Antonio Express-News Driver smashes into H-E-B truck San Antonio Express-News 10 of the Most Scenic Places in Texas PopularMechanics O'Connor soccer Terrence Thomas/San Antonio Express News Tom Barrack, a wealthy businessman and close friend of Trump's, said the committee would donate its leftover cash to charity. The tax filings showed that those donations included $3 million for hurricane relief and $1.75 million to groups that decorate and maintain both the White House and Vice President Mike Pence's residence. Most Continue Reading

Bad gifts still hanging around? Here are 6 ways to get rid of them

FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, file photo, a man returns a TV to a Best Buy at the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, N.J. With the holiday season over, some shoppers are still wondering what to do with the unwanted gifts still hanging around. Shoppers have options, including swapping and selling online. (Craig Matthews/The Press of Atlantic City via AP, File) FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017,... Photo by Craig Matthews / Staff Photograp NEW YORK — With the holidays gone, some people still have bad gifts hanging around. Time is ticking, since many retailers have 30-day return windows. But those who have waited can still find a few ways to discard weird sweaters or duplicate air fryers. That includes selling them on eBay, using gift-swapping sites or donating them to charity. And if they're lucky, the purchases came from retailers with more generous return policies. "There are more options for people who have unwanted gifts because the internet makes it easier for you to be connected to someone who does want that item," says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with, a price comparison website. Here are six ways to unload the castoffs: » Returns: There's still time to return gifts at some retailers, as they're more lenient during the holidays. Many allow returns and exchanges until late January, according to Alex Vlasto, vice president of marketing at StellaService, which monitors customer service at retailers. During the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31. And for items from and Bed, Bath & Beyond you have one year to return. For consumer gadgets, though, it might be too late. Best Buy had set a Jan. 14 deadline for most holiday purchases. » Use swap sites: Plenty of sites allow shoppers to exchange items for something else. Got another copy of a favorite book? Maybe try, an online community for exchanging used and new books. Continue Reading

MLB pitcher Cole Hamels donates mansion and land to camp for special-needs children

Cole Hamels, the Texas Rangers star pitcher, and his wife, Heidi, are donating their Missouri mansion and 100 acres of land to a charity that provided camps for children with special needs and chronic illnesses and their siblings. The massive 32,000-square foot home, worth an estimated $10 million, would be donated to Camp Barnabas. The home, located in Table Rock Lake, was located near one of the charity’s camps. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS PLAYER SUFFERS BRUTAL LEG INJURY, VIDEO SHOWS “There are tons of amazing charities in southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings,” Hamels said in a statement. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.” The organization, which described itself as “meeting the needs of people with disabilities so they can have an incredible camp experience and learn more about Christ,” said the donation would help it “change thousands of lives for years to come.” The home, which contained 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, two kitchens, a two-car garage, and an elevator, was not completely finished on the inside, The Washington Post reported. The pitcher started construction on the mansion in 2012 and planned to live him and Heidi’s dream home. However, he was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Texas Rangers and they had to relocate. The family was never Continue Reading

Maximize your savings and learn how to negotiate with car dealers

It's possible to get what you want in this world, but you have to summon the confidence to ask for it, and you also need to know how to make your request in a way that improves your chances of securing a positive outcome. This is especially true when you're finalizing a transaction at a car dealership. According to information published by IHS Automotive, an automotive research firm, the average American will purchase nine new cars over the course of a lifetime. That translates into nine visits to a car dealership to negotiate a purchase. If you've not yet had the chance to go back and forth with a car dealer regarding a vehicle purchase, it's likely you'll have that singular pleasure at some point in your future. The experience is more likely to unfold in your favor if you're prepared for it. Negotiation can save you money on your car purchase. It can also net you perks and bonuses that might not have otherwise been presented to you. It's not an easy road to travel. Most people hate negotiating face-to-face with dealers. In a recent survey conducted by Accenture, a multi-national management consulting firm, 75 percent of those polled said they would consider conducting the entire car-buying process online if given the chance. There are some compelling factors supporting this dislike for the negotiation process. Here are three reasons why car buyers have no love for sitting down with dealers to hammer out a transaction: Negotiation can be confusing.This is no accident. Some salespeople will attempt to gain the upper hand in the process by throwing out jargon designed to leave you bewildered and unsure of yourself. Negotiation places you in a high-pressure situation.Again, this is purely by design. It's nothing personal. The salesperson at the other end of the table wants to net the maximum amount of profit on the deal. By throwing you off your game and using tactics designed to intimidate you in subtle and not-so-subtle Continue Reading

David Beckham joins Paris Saint-Germain, will donate salary to a children’s charity

PARIS  — David Beckham's latest stop in his globe-trotting career is Paris-Saint Germain, with the former England captain signing a five-month contract Thursday and pledging to donate his salary to a children's charity. Beckham joined the French club after rejecting other offers. No details were given on how much the 37-year-old star will be paid or which charity will get the money. "It's something we (decided) together; it's one of the things we talked about from the start. But this all happened so quick," Beckham said. "I thought what a great idea it would be, that the salary would go to a children's charity in Paris." Beckham's glamorous career has seen him win titles with Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Los Angeles Galaxy. "Every club I have played for throughout the world, I have been successful with. I have been successful with Manchester United, and I have always said that I would never want to play for another English club," Beckham said. "It's the team that I support, that I always dreamt of playing for." Beckham recently finished a six-year stint in the United States with the Galaxy in Major League Soccer. Whether he can still be a force in European soccer is uncertain. "I am very lucky. I am 37 years old and I got offered a lot of offers, more offers now than I have probably had in my career, at my age," Beckham said. "I am very honored about that. I chose Paris because I can see what the club are trying to do, the players the club are trying to bring in. It's an exciting city, always has been, always will be." The immaculately dressed Beckham was a model of elegance and calm as camera crews and photographers jostled for position amid the frenzy. He joked that he feels much younger than his age. "To be the elder statesman, I'm very proud of that," he said. "No matter what my age is, I still feel 21 years old — most days." Although Beckham's deal runs out in June, he intends to keep playing, although Continue Reading

Disabled Firefighter Ted Jankowski with six-figure pension lands $135,000-a-year job in Connecticut

A retired FDNY deputy chief already pocketing a $138,622 tax-free disability pension landed a new six-figure job as the public safety director in Stamford, Conn., the Daily News has learned. Ted Jankowski, 47, retired from the FDNY in 2009 after a 23-year career during which he last served as one of the top supervisors overseeing department-wide safety protocols. The details of his disability pension — which entitle him to three-quarters of his annual But it wasn’t enough to keep him from accepting the cabinet-level $135,239-a-year post in the Connecticut community that bills itself as “The City That Works!” Jankowski’s predecessor, ex-Mets manager Bobby Valentine, got a mere $10,000 a year — and donated it to charity. Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia defended the hiring. “His qualifications speak for themselves,” said the mayor, who appointed Jankowski. “Certainly, Stamford is fortunate to have someone with his experience, knowledge and training.” The Bloomberg administration is pressing hard to slash pension benefits like those collected by Jankowski. Gov. Cuomo is also seeking a raft of reforms for public-worker pensions. For the first time, the FDNY’s $1.7 billion total pension and health care costs are expected this year to exceed its $1.5 billion in total salary expenses. That’s largely due to the high number of lucrative disability pensions. Nearly 75% of all FDNY retirees in 2011 left with disability pensions, records show. The FDNY attributes the spike to 9/11-related illnesses, and expects the number to drop in the coming years. But no one is saying exactly what problem entitled Jankowski to the pricier pension. Typically, firefighters who retire after 20 or more years collect 50% of their final year’s pay or the average of their salaries from their last three years. Phone calls to Jankowski were forwarded to FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon, who said Continue Reading

Delaware City Refinery workers committed to charity

It was an unusual scene last week at La Matesina Pizza, about two blocks from the Delaware City Refinery.A group of refinery employees in company jumpsuits repeatedly had lunch interrupted by strangers who approached the table to thank them, recalled plant manager Jose Dominguez.Typically, such tributes are reserved for military members or first-responders. But this happened a week after the refinery's annual golf outing raised $111,000 to be spread among 14 local charities. It was the second year for the event, which generated $85,000 for non-profit groups in 2015."It was touching," Dominguez said.The golf outing is one of several charitable initiatives undertaken by some of the plant's 550 workers since the refinery reopened in 2011 after it was purchased by PBF Energy Inc., which also owns properties in Paulsboro, New Jersey; Toledo, Ohio; Torrance, California; and New Orleans.Other contributions include land donations to area youth baseball leagues, collecting gifts for needy families during the holidays and school supplies for low-income children in the fall, and volunteering for Delaware City Days and Meals on Wheels. Employees also serve on charitable boards throughout the state including March of Dimes, Boys & Girls Club, Delaware City Library and the American Heart Association. STORY: Refinery owner PBF Energy to release earnings  STORY: Conservation group says PBF refinery kills sturgeon Those endeavors are separate from a charitable budget PBF sets aside for each plant to benefit their community. Barbara Roehl, the plant's human resources manager, estimated the refinery has donated about $1 million to area charities in the past five years.The charities say they can see impact of the generosity in the lives of those helped.Stu Sherman is the director of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Newark. He said refinery employees have donated food and toys Continue Reading

Bryant: Don’t ‘donate’ your garbage to charities

Garage sale season is upon us. So you might see a sign asking people to refrain from dumping the remnants of such sales on the doorstep of Saint's Place.The Pittsford-based charity helps refugees who fled dangerous lands with little more than the clothes on their backs. Its volunteers are warmhearted and kind people. Therefore, their sign is a little too polite.I might scrawl "NO GARBAGE" in big red letters over the donation area. Under that, I would write, "Donating crappy stuff you can't sell is NOT generous." Next to that I would add, "If you would not place this item directly into a refugee's hand, don't leave it here."Charities must dispose of all the tattered Christmas decorations, broken gas grills and bottles of old prescription medicine that thoughtless people leave. On top of wasting countless volunteer hours, Saint's Place spends more than $1,000 each year to have useless and/or hazardous "donations" sent to a landfill.This money could have been spent on mattresses or other furnishings for the hundreds of refugees who arrive in Rochester each year. In other words, leaving broken computer monitors and empty paint cans for charities to deal with is like stealing from the poor.Saint's Place assistant director Michele Quinn was recently yelled at by a woman who was outraged when the charity would not haul away the remnants of her mother's estate sale. The woman had promised Quinn that the house was full of useful items and so Quinn went out of her way to line up a truck and volunteers to collect them. On arrival, it became clear that all items of value had been sold and what remained were unsorted boxes filled with things such as broken Christmas lights and mildewed books.Another woman got upset when Quinn didn't want to take a pair of downhill skis. "What do our refugees need skis for?" Quinn said. "Skiing is expensive. They don't have money to pay their rent." The woman finally backed off when Quinn asked her whether she might be willing to drive some Continue Reading

Sarah Palin to return donations from tainted politicians

JUNEAU, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin swept into office as an avowed outsider, a claim that helped her land the GOP vice presidential nomination.The woman touted by Republican nominee John McCain as a reformer said late Thursday that she will donate to charity more than $1,000 in campaign contributions from two Alaska politicians implicated in a sprawling federal corruption probe. Palin is also giving back $1,000 from the wife of one of the men.The move came a few hours after The Associated Press reported that Palin had accepted the money during her successful 2006 run for governor. Two months later, Palin was elected easily after she promised to rid Alaska's capital of dirty politics.RELATED: MCCAIN RIDES IN TO SAVE THE DAY, BUT MAKES MESS"Governor Palin has made a career of holding herself to the highest standards of ethics. As soon as the governor learned of the donations today, she immediately decided to donate them to charity," campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said.The money could be returned as early as Friday, Griffin said.Over the years, McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama have both returned campaign donations tied to corruption. Obama's campaign says he's given to charity $159,000 tied to convicted Chicago real estate developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko. In the early 1990s, McCain returned $112,000 from Charles Keating, a central figure in the savings-and-loan crisis, after a Senate ethics inquiry.RELATED: MYCHAL JUDGE WOULD HAVE APPRECIATED PALIN VISITThe two politicians in this case were snagged in a federal investigation revolving around an oil field services company once known as VECO Corp. Executives from the company are at the center of the trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, that began this week in Washington.Palin felt so strongly about the indictment of once-powerful Sen. John Cowdery that she urged him to resign. He was indicted in July on two federal bribery counts; the other donor, former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, is awaiting trial. Both are Continue Reading