A Facebook group selling Gord Downie t-shirts has been removed from the social media site after investigation revealed claims that proceeds were being donated to charity appeared to be completely fabricated.
As the Toronto Star reports, the Facebook page Gord Downie Strong has been removed for violating Facebook’s community standards after the purported charity effort appeared to be a scam that drew people in with a fake receipt alleging to be for a donation to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research. The fund was set up after the Tragically Hip front man revealed he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
According to the Star, however, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre — which has been the recipient of money collected through the fund — hasn’t heard from the group nor received any money from them, despite uploading what the group claimed was a tax receipt for a donation, reading: “Dear Gene K.. Thank you for your recent $7,500 donation to Sunnybrook’s glioblastoma research initiatives.”
Yet Alexis Dobranowski, a communications adviser with the Sunnybrook Foundation, tells the Star that “a concerned member of the public” contacted the foundation over concerns with the Facebook page.
After investigating, the foundation contacted the online store with which the group had affiliated themselves and reported the “Gord Downie Strong” group, resulting in it getting yanked from Facebook (the address listed on the apparently fake receipt, notes the Star, is that of an Original Joe’s restaurant in Vancouver, with a rep from the restaurant claiming to have no knowledge of the group).
“Our investigation continues,” says Dobranowski.
Meanwhile, Sunnybrook’s Facebook moderator posted its own message about the apparent scam. “We have not been informed by the creator of this item or the creator of the Facebook page ‘Gord Downie Strong’ that proceeds will be directed to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research,” reads the message “nor have we received any money from them to date.”