UPDATE: Beach Bums Silent Auction Dispute Resolved

UPDATE: July 30

An update on the money dispute between the owner of the Traverse City Beach Bums and a veteran’s organization.

The Grand Traverse County Prosecutor has determined the Beach Bums did not violate Michigan’s Charitable Organizations and Solicitation Act.

The area veteran coalition filed a complaint claiming the owners of the Beach Bums never gave them thousands of dollars raised at silent auctions

But the owner, John Wuerfel, says they made no money on the fundraiser so there was nothing to donate.

The prosecutor says both sides have been notified there was no wrongdoing and resolved differences on their own.


July 18

A dispute over money from a fundraiser is causing confusion between owners of well-known baseball organization, and a veterans organization.

The Grand Traverse Veteran Coalition filed a complaint claiming the Beach Bums never gave them proceeds from a jersey silent auction.

For past two years, the Veteran Coalition said the owners of the Beach Bums promised proceeds from the team’s Fourth of July jersey silent auction.

Now, they have filed a complaint against the owners of the Beach Bums. But, the team’s owners say it was a big misunderstanding.

“It has been costing us more to the do the auction then what we bring in,” said John Wuerfel, Beach Bums owner.

“If they didn’t make money then they should be accountable for it,” said George Champlin, Veteran’s Coalition.

The Veteran Coalition claims they were supposed to given $3,000 from the auction in 2013, but that never happened.

“I’m really upset because it’s not about the money, it’s saying you’re going to do something for veterans and then not doing it,” said Champlin.  “People were told at the game and their website said the proceeds were to support veterans.”

The owners of the Beach Bums admit the website was wrong.

“It said proceeds will go to the coalition and not net proceeds and that’s what it should of said, so part of that problem is our fault,” said Wuerfel.

The Wuerfels say they didn’t make a profit off the auction because it cost $4,000 to put it on, but only brought in three, leaving no profit to give to the organization.

“I feel bad about it because we support the veterans like crazy and we give all we can to the veterans,” said Wuerfel.

“If they didn’t make money and the sheriffs department investigates and there’s no wrong doings then we’ll let it go,” said Champlin.

The Grand Traverse County Prosecutor does confirm the sheriff’s department is looking into this.

9 & 10 News will give you any updates on this dispute as they come up.