Suffolk County sent payments this week to veterans’ nonprofits that were promised a total of $160,000 in profits from the 2015 Suffolk County Marathon — 10 months after officials handed out large ceremonial checks at a news conference.
County officials said they mailed checks to four groups and are processing payments for three others. The county has reached out to the other 12 nonprofits serving veterans that had been promised earnings from the Suffolk marathon.
“We’re working with them to obtain required documents,” county spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter said. “In many cases, we’ve visited the organizations to help with paperwork.”
Newsday reported the delay in payments last week.
Veterans groups said the wait for money from the inaugural county marathon has tested their endurance.
“It was ridiculous,” said Lonnie Sherman, head of the East Northport nonprofit General Needs, which helps veterans who are homeless or in need. “It was probably the most frustrating process we’ve been through. The process was hours and hours — the time and effort we put into redoing the paperwork.”
Sherman said General Needs, which has been mailed a $12,200 check, will use the money to provide beds for homeless veterans moving into apartments. The county required the 8-year-old group to increase its insurance coverage from $1 million to $2 million, at a cost of $700. The county also had asked for workmen’s compensation insurance, though Sherman said he successfully fought that because it is an all-volunteer group, without employees.
Other groups said they were unsure whether they’ll get paid.
Fred Miller, chairman of the Suffolk County American Legion’s post-traumatic stress disorder committee, said he has sent in more paperwork to get $4,000 to promote peer-to-peer suicide prevention for veterans.
“We have 95 people trained and ready to go,” he said.
Baird-Streeter said the county was still waiting for proof from the American Legion of general liability insurance, professional insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, as well as missing information about its nonprofit status.
Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) said she hoped the process would pick up, although she was happy checks have begun to go out.
“It took Newsday, News 12 and other media giving them a kick in the behind to do this. Next time, they’ll hopefully have their act together and get the money out sooner — not after the 2017 marathon,” Browning said.
Baird-Streeter said the process for distributing profits from the 2016 Suffolk Marathon, which took place in October, should be smoother because it will be handled by a corporation established to run the marathon. The county still is calculating the profits from the race.