I Hate Jill Zarin Top Chef Just Desserts / Housewives News September 30, 2010
Well, Dina Manzo’s temper got the better of her once again this week as people have been questioning her Project Ladybug charity. A document that I posted a few days ago, that I received from a Twitter friend (@Geoaubsmom) has sparked the interest of many people questioning how their donations to Project Ladybug are being used.
@Geoabsmom a/k/a Laura has a background working with very ill children and is passionate about this subject and so she took it a step further and over the past few days has tried to get more information about Project Ladybug and its allocation of funds. Laura was kind enough to share with me details of what’s gone on over the past few days. Portions below are in Laura’s own words…
Laura contacted New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs, here is her explanation of that call:
I also called the NJ Dept of Consumer Affairs to inquire why there was no 2009 financial data available, and I was told Project Ladybug asked for a filing extension and the charity had until 12/31/10 to complete. I also inquired about their Fed Tax ID # (part of reason for fine in .pdf file). The person helping me said he could not give that info out. I then probed further and said I knew they had been fined and I was wondering if they complied re the tax id and he said Project Ladybug did.
Many people question charities particularly after so many news reports of how charities and their executives mismanage funds, if Dina’s on the up and up, she should have nothing to hide, right? Instead Dina started a new Twitter account and tweeted to Laura:
I guess between the parody accounts and the Project Ladybug.pdf getting tweeted often by me to followers, different people including Dina she got fed up. She started on a tirade about haters & tweetholes… Then mysteriously some messages appeared to me from an acct called @janislanton Obviously the account is an alias account for Dina Manzo because why would I be the one person out of the whole twitter verse that this account tweeted? At the time I first went to the page@janislanton had 0 followers and 0 following, now maybe there are 10 followers as the name got tweeted many times.
Laura goes on to explain:
So now we are onto Tuesday (9/28) and many tweeters are talking about the financial info I posted. Around this time a conversation started about someone should call the number on the SS I posted. I said I would & subsequently called the number listed on the financial statement. It rang several times and then rolled to VM (Dina’s voice) but it said the mailbox was full… I remember thinking I must not be the only one trying that number.
Dina is getting more agitated as people are commenting on @PutUpYourHair’s blog, my document and the parody accounts. More about the haters & tweetholes and enlisting minions to do her dirty work… I had called her out on the @janislanton thing.
And then an odd thing happened, Laura explains:
Somewhere about this time Teresa Giudice unblocked me and PutYourHairUp. She commented on PYHU blog, how funny it was and answered a tweet I sent asking if she knew why Dina had a real & a fake account. Her response was cutesy… who has time for two twitter accts Xx.
@Teresa_Giudice @geoaubsmom no, never heard of it. who has time for real Twitter and fake Twitter??? xx
@Teresa_Giudice @geoaubsmom not a dream. I’m the same girl. Just had a hard year. xx
Interesting that Teresa would get involved to the point where she unblocked Dina’s enemies.
Laura goes on with her story:
Dina viewed my tweets and saw the tweets about phone calls from the night before and Dina tweeted a comment “don’t worry they r basically being charged with slander & harassment when they make phone calls to me”.
At exactly 2:25 pm I received a call on my iPhone which read BLOCKED, I knew it was Dina and I declined the call. That 2:25 pm phone call is the ONE & ONLY BLOCKED call I have ever gotten. Approximately 3 minutes later Dina posted the Laura M tweet that I was being turned over to the proper authorities. Gotta say LOL!
That started this flurry of whose Laura M, which a number of people thought was tweeterlaura!
I tweeted the shaken in my shoes tweet and that I would be happy for an attorney to subpoena the Project Ladybug financials. Then it was a tweetfest and I couldn’t believe the volume of tweets!
I called a number published as the charity number and all of my tweets were fair questions. I was pretty civil for someone who was getting the run around for five days while being harassed by fake accounts and Dina worshippers.
The tweets all night long are history and they are funny as hell. One sequence I want to mention is the tweets from Cookie Laurita on, my comment back to her is at the bottom of the page. Dina also has a Thank You comment to Cookie on her page.
All of the tweets that Laura talks about along with the financials and legal documents discussed are posted above in “Dina Manzo’s Project Ladybug Legal Woes”
I know that many people will question this whole thing but here’s my perspective. If Project Ladybug is completely legitimate, Dina Manzo should have nothing to hide, her anger and using sick children to gain sympathy for her cause really has to make you question what she’s doing here.
Dina claims she only got involved with the Real Housewives to give her charity a national focus and many fans of the show have donated their money to Project Ladybug. For those who have donated and those who consider donating, shouldn’t it be Dina’s obligation to ensure people know that these funds are going directly to help these children? There are so many charities out there and so many reports of funds being mismanaged by charities that it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Dina’s charity is being questioned.
Why did Dina start this charity in the first place? I certainly understand wanting to help sick children, but why not find a good legitimate charity that has the same goals as you do and get involved with them, raise money for them, volunteer with them? Why would a woman, the wife of a banquet hall owner, start her very own charity? We watched as she held charity functions during Season One of The Real Housewives of New Jersey so clearly she started this charity well before any promise of “stardom”. I understand and give credit for wanting to help ill children, I just question this very angry woman and her very strange behavior.
If funds are being donated to Project Ladybug that would may have otherwise been donated to another charity where more of the dollars directly aid children that would be a tragedy. Dina has highly publicized one child that she has assisted in Chicago, I don’t question that this child has gotten assistance from Project Ladybug, but where are the rest? Why is this the only thing that Dina can point to? Was this just a photo op? What about the recent event for a children’s hospital sponsored by Project Ladybug, the hospital insisted on collecting the funds directly rather than funneling them through Project Ladybug?
Does Dina have any experience running a charity? There is quite a bit involved particularly with the financials, does she have a financial background to handle these funds? Does Project Ladybug retain a Financial Advisor? A CPA? How much of the funds go to outside vendors to help Dina manage the funds? What percentage of donated funds actually goes to ill children? So many questions, can Dina answer these questions?
Personally, I’ll continue to donate to the charities I’ve already researched and am comfortable with.
p.s. Caroline tweeted yesterday during some of this discussion just two words, “Please Stop!” my response? “Utoh, Here comes the big sister “It wasn’t Dina, it was ME, talk to me!”
Top Chef Just Desserts
On a much more fun note, Bravo aired its latest episode of Top Chef Just Desserts last night, I am really enjoying this show.
The Quick-fire challenge tonight was a wedding cake in 90 minutes. Wow, tough one! The contestants were provided with the sheet cakes to use but were instructed to make them tasty, using interesting fillings and creative decorating skills.
Some handled this much better than others. Rebel Seth decided to completely ignore the instructions and didn’t make a cake at all but a dessert in a small bowl, I can’t imagine why he didn’t win.
There were some beautiful offerings with creative flavorings by these chef’s even given limited time proving that it was certainly possible to create a great wedding cake in 90 minutes.
Getting to know these contestants a bit better we’re finding that Morgan is a jackass being rude and condescending to Malika, Heather H is a bitch who criticizes every chance she gets, they’re meant for each other!
At the bottom of the quick fire is Seth for his non-cake entry, Malika who continues to have time management problems and Eric. I really wish Malika would get it together because I think she has great potential. Eric being a baker and not a pastry chef is inconsistent but has the ability to prepare great desserts.
Three beautiful cakes were prepared by the top three and judge Sylvia Weinstock announces she enjoyed Morgan, Heather H and Erica’s cakes pronouncing Erica who really loves her mixer, the winner and recipient of immunity for the Elimination Challenge.
For the elimination challenge the chefs were split into two groups randomly and each group was assigned either Pep (for the Cheerleading Squad) or Glee (for the Glee Club) of a local high school. The task is to hold a bake sale to raise money for these two clubs each having a goal for these funds. (see Dina, it’s not all that complicated)
The Glee Club has aspirations of visiting New York City to sing and the Cheerleaders need more pom-poms I would imagine. (just kidding)
The chefs are given three hours to prepare their bakery goods for sale to the kids. The kids are given a ticket worth one dollar and are told to use their one ticket to purchase their favorite dessert at the bake sale. Gail informs us that $490 in one dollar tickets are dispensed and whichever team sells more will be the winning team.
This Seth guy just doesn’t seem to know where he is or what he’s there to accomplish. He just does whatever he wants as if he’s working in his own kitchen and preparing dessert for his guests. Do you suppose he even realizes that he’s being filmed for television? Needless to say, he’s not a favorite of his teammates with the exception of his biggest fan, Zach.
Seth doesn’t create a dessert appropriate for a bake sale or even something that his audience (high school kids) could relate to in any way. Similarly Yigit prepares a ginger pudding that is for a more refined palate, Danielle’s cake is dry and Zach’s strawberry shortcake has a hard crusty biscuit. Worse than the rest of the team, Heather C makes a dry ordinary peanut butter cookie and is sent home.
In Heather’s defense, her hair was in her eyes the entire time so she can’t be held responsible for a dish that she prepared while not being able to see properly. Bye Heather, get a haircut!
As the losers stand in front of the judges they all being to try to save themselves before the judges even being to question who made what and what they enjoyed as opposed to what they did not like. Seth begs the team to be honorable and just stand there and be judged.
I can certainly see why the judges sent home the chef who made a boring peanut butter cookie over say the guy who made a biscuit with the consistency of a hockey puck that would have been inappropriate for a bake sale even if prepared properly. Really, I can!
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Until Next Time…