Second Mile seeks to transfer funds to benefit local programs

The Texas-based ministry that last year took on some programs for at-risk youth developed by The Second Mile has struggled to raise enough money to support the extra work and needs an influx of funds to keep the programs operating.

That’s according to a petition filed Friday in Centre County Orphan’s Court by The Second Mile, the charity founded by Jerry Sandusky and ruined by his conviction for sexually abusing children.

The Second Mile is asking permission to give $300,000 to Arrow Family and Child Ministries to keep the programs running another year while Arrow seeks to continue strengthening its own fundraising efforts.

Officials also want to take the charity’s endowment fund, which as of April 30 had a balance of $596,932 and generates about $20,000 a year, and give it to Arrow, which has agreed to maintain the fund to support its programs, according to the petition.

Dave Woodle, The Second Mile’s CEO, said the endowment’s proceeds can only be used to operate programs and should be aligned with the organization that is now managing them.

“This endowment will stay in Pennsylvania and be used to operate programs by Arrow within the state,” Woodle said in an email.

Last year, a judge granted The Second Mile permission to give Arrow $200,000 along with equipment and intellectual property, including three programs for children: Friend, Friend Fitness and Leadership Institute.

But before that, when the charity sought to transfer $2.5 million to Arrow, several of Sandusky’s victims objected and the transfer was put on hold until the lawsuits played out.

In the new petition, the charity’s attorney said that all claims made by Sandusky victims have been settled or dismissed, except for one brought by the young man known as Victim 6 from the Sandusky case.

The Second Mile would keep its other assets until instructed by the court. Those total more than $2 million, according to the petition, but that number includes the endowment fund.

The asset total is also dependent on the sale price of land The Second Mile owns near University Park Airport in Patton Township. The land has been appraised at $910,000 but is being listed at $2.1 million.

Recently, a local businessman who wants to build a multisport athletic complex has shown interest in the land.

The charity last year sold its South Atherton Street headquarters for $650,000.

Arrow was successful last year in operating The Second Mile programs, holding Summer Blast events, Friend and Friend Fitness programs and a Leadership Quest Conference, among other projects, according to the filing.

During the past year, Arrow also has transitioned into new physical offices, adopted a stringent background-clearance procedure and transferred two former Second Mile employees to the current programs.

“Although Arrow-PA has successfully operated the programs transferred from The Second Mile, the development of financial support for Arrow-PA has been more challenging than anticipated,” a Second Mile attorney wrote in the petition.

“Despite the transition, and contact with prior donors to The Second Mile, Arrow-PA’s fund-raising efforts still have yet to gain the traction and support necessary to make Arrow-PA self-sufficient,” the attorney said.