(Host) In recent months, a number of record companies have created benefit albums to help raise money for the victims of September 11. One Montreal-based company has quietly donated proceeds from their charity CD to a local chapter of the American Red Cross.
VPR’s Beth Schmidt reports.
(Schmidt) Jeanie Roberts gets a lot of checks in the mail. As the executive director of the Plattsburgh Red Cross, she typically sees donations in the form of $500 checks. But recently she opened an envelope and out fell a check for $33,000:
(Roberts) "There was no hoopla, it was like, wow, this is like such quiet generosity."
(Schmidt) Attached to the check was a letter from St. Clair Entertainment Group in Montreal. The Canadian company explained that in the weeks following September 11 they created a CD of patriotic music. This check, they said, represented their estimated proceeds. It also represented the largest single gift in the history of the Plattsburgh Red Cross:
(Roberts) "And in December came another check. And I was like, just stunned."
(Schmidt) In all, St. Clair Entertainment Group has donated more than $45,000 (U.S.) to the American Red Cross through the Plattsburgh office. St. Clair’s Vice President and Co-Owner, Morey Richman:
(Richman) "We didn’t want any fanfare, or people to laud us for what we’re doing. We just wanted to do something and this is the only thing we could think of doing."
(Schmidt) Unlike many larger record companies, St. Clair wrote their checks to the American Red Cross long before knowing if they’d make a profit on the CD. The standard industry practice with benefit CDs is to donate net proceeds.
Richman says that in the wake of 9/11 this industry practice didn’t sit well with his company. Instead, St. Clair, which does 90% of its business in the U.S., chose to manufacture this CD in the States. They also offered the CD to their retail clients, like Walmart and Best Buy, as a guaranteed sale. If the CDs don’t sell, St. Clair takes them back for full credit:
(Richman) "If we break even we’ll be extremely happy. If we don’t break even we’re not even going to think twice and look back."
(Schmidt) Richman says St. Clair Entertainment Group hopes to donate additional proceeds from their CD to the Plattsburgh Red Cross in the coming months.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Beth Schmidt.