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Questions raised over Holly Woodlawn fund

Updates to this story appear here. Holly's obituary is here. See also "Joe Dallesandro was banned from Holly Woodlawn's bedside during her last week of life."

The fund created on July 2, 2015 by Penny Arcade for Holly Woodlawn showing that $68,173 was raised

Holly Woodlawn, star of Trash and Women in Revolt, died on December 6, 2015. When she was first hospitalised for what turned out to be lung and liver cancer, Penny Arcade started a Go Fund Me account to "Bring Holly Woodlawn Home." Questions are now being asked about the fund which brought in a total of $68,173.00 in donations.

Although the person who started the account, Penny Arcade, only appeared briefly in Women in Revolt (very briefly), she advertises herself as being a Warhol superstar. She isn't. She is not mentioned in any of the Warhol biographies.

When Penny set up the fund to "Bring Holly Home," it wasn't quite clear what she meant by home. Did she mean to bring Holly back to New York? Holly hadn't actually lived in New York for about two decades. Or did she mean to let Holly return to her West Hollywood home where she lived before being hospitalised?

In her first statement, published July 2, 2015, on Holly's Go Fund Me account page, Penny stated the purpose of the account as follows:

Penny Arcade (July 2, 2015):

Holly Woodlawn , the beloved, iconic Transgender LBGT pioneer and Warhol superstar is very ill. She is currently in the hospital in Los Angeles in a private room. The hospital has asked that we not give out the name because they are already fielding many phone calls about Holly and are not set up to handle it. Holly cannot speak on the telephone now and her condition is dire. She is undergoing investigative measures to determine exactly the nature of the lesions discovered on her brain and lungs. There are also other physical conditions challenging her recovery. Holly's has made it clear that she wants to return home, surrounded by friends and if she must die, she doesn't want to die in a nursing home.

We who love Holly, hope to raise enough funds to continue her care and hopefully bring Holly home with 24 hour nursing care , after she recuperates in a nursing home. Currently, we have no means to achieve these goals, which also include provisions for her funeral and to secure her last resting place. Holly gave visibility long before it was comfortable to do so and also gave thousands of people both hope and pleasure.

Please contribute and help us bring Holly home and please, please share this widely.

The highest donation was $5,000 from an anonymous donor. Some of the people who contributed to the fund over time were well-known. Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes to Hollywood sent in a donation and commented "Get well soon beautiful! Love from the other Holly xxxxx." But most of the donations were from people who couldn't afford large amounts but wanted to support Holly Woodlawn in some way. One donor sent the message, "I'm donating $80 but can't until Friday, so you will have another $80 on Friday which I hope helps. Much love!"

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade
(Photo: Robert Ormerod for the New York Times)

Penny's first statement was followed by "updates" - both thanking people for their donations and pleading for more. In Update 2 (July 4), she wrote that she had spoken to Holly and "For Holly you all provide a double gift: both the financial support and the acknowledgment. Thank you!" In Update 6 (July 5) she reassured possible donors that "You can donate with the security of knowing that the money for Holly's care will be administered by Holly's health care proxy and decades long friend Robert Starr. The money will go to 24 hours nursing which Holly will need as her home care is beyond the scope of her friends who have nursed Holly in the past."

By Update 7 however it appeared that people were expressing concern about the way that the fund was set up. Joe Dallesandro's wife, Kim, started asking questions or at least relaying the questions that people had brought up about why Holly was not the beneficiary of the account. According to Go Fund Me, "GoFundMe has created an easy way for your beneficiary to securely access the funds you have raised. Through GoFundMe they will be given direct access to the money you have raised for them." But Holly was apparently never set up as the official beneficiary. This was, according to Penny, to protect Holly from the "vultures, alcohol and drug enablers" which the money would attract. In her statement explaining this, she misspells Joe Dallesandro's last name and refers to Kim as his daughter when she is actually his wife. Joe was Holly Woodlawn's co-star in Trash and was at Holly's bedside when she died.

Penny Arcade (Update 7, July 5, 2015):

Joe Dellasandro [sic] just wrote me thru his daughter Kim that people are asking why Holly is not the beneficiary on this GO FUND ME. Holly is the actual beneficiary of the money i.e. the money will pay for Holly's needs from Home health care to what Medicaid won't pay for to her funeral if it comes to that but anyone who knows Holly, knows that it is best if Holly doesn't have direct access to the money because that will attract vultures, alcohol and drug enablers which Holly does NOT need. Robert Starr Holly's appointed health care proxy, will be charge of dispersing the funds aided by Elda Stiletto, Constance Cooper and myself. "

In other words, Holly was not officially designated as the beneficiary with Go Fund Me because Penny and others thought they could better distribute the money than she or her [Holly's] estate could.

In regard to the people who "will be in charge of dispersing the funds," Constance Cooper is actually Robert Sherman who is best known as the hairless model photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe.

robert sherman

Ken Moody (L) and Robert Sherman aka Constance Cooper
(Photographer: Robert Mapplethorpe, 1984)

According to an interview in SF Weekly, Sherman spent his teen years in Connecticut but "left the safe environment of his acid-fueled teen years in Connecticut and moved to New York City" where he met Mapplethorpe in an S & M club. He moved to Los Angeles and most recently was hosting weekly fetes on Thursdays at the Bar Marmont in Hollywood.

The other person mentioned as aiding the dispersal of the funds is Elda Stiletto who is mentioned in Holly's autobiography The Holly Woodlawn Story: A Low Life in High Heels. Holly performed with Elda in a band called Pure Garbage. According to Holly, they "would rent a rehearsal studio for ten bucks and hour in the West Village, smoke some weed, drink some wine, and sing ourselves into a stupor." (p. 233) (After Holly left the band, Debbie Harry replaced her and they changed their name to the Stilettos.)

Although Penny identifies Holly's old drinking buddies who would be dispersing the fund, she doesn't identify who the "vultures, alcohol and drug enablers" are. If you were one of the donors did you think you were donating money to Holly or to a group of her old drinking buddies who were going to decide how your money was spent?

As time went on, Penny became more aggressive in her plea for money, criticizing those who hadn't contributed including GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and even Caitlyn Jenner.

Glaad was one of the organisations criticised for not contributing to the fund

GLAAD's purpose is to promote "fair and accurate representation of gay people in the media." But there weren't any complaints about the media's representation of Holly's condition. GLAAD and Caitlyn (who Penny misspells as "Caitlin") are both mentioned in Update 9.

Penny Arcade (Update 9, July 6, 2015):

Many people have commented that they are waiting to see Caitlin Jenner, LaVern Cox or one of the other other high profile transgendered people with high profile step up to call attention to Holly's situation... What I find far more curious is that cadre of so called Transactivists that make so much noise about words like Trannie or NightClubs [sic] with the word Tranny that were of our community and opened before they were in elementary school. Where is GLAAD and other single issue organizations who love to be associated with trans issues when it suits them?"

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner campaigning against bullying on her website

Penny's friends also criticised Caitlyn, with one person writing in the Go Fund Me comments section, "I reminded her [Caitlyn] that if not for Holly, that "Low Life in High Heels" Caitlyn would be shunned and alone rather than the "Toast of the Town." Tony Mansfield, who appeared with Candy Darling in the non-Warhol film, Some of My Best Friends Are..., commented "GLAAD and other organizations should help with this sad situation... but Holly as u said Penny being a wild child ALSO ICON... is being overlooked in favor of Jenner switch WITH MONEY... sad."

Despite the alleged lack of interest by Caitlyn Jenner and GLAAD, Penny reached the goal of the fund $50,000 on July 9. When that happened, she upped it to $75,000. In Update 15, she proclaims "We have hit our goal which is wonderful so please continue to give!"

By Update 23 (August 2015), however, Holly had apparently been mentioned on Caitlyn Jenner's TV show. Penny wrote: "Apparently last night on Caitlyn Jenner's show she was 'schooled" on trans history and asked if she knew 'Holly Woodlawn' which she did not...so she heard about Holly's pioneering but also about Holly's current situation and sent 'prayers'... it is a pity but not unusual that this desperately needed fundraiser was not mentioned....perhaps we can make it go viral." In Update 30 (October) Penny continued "Caitlin [sic] Jenner mentioning Holly's name on her show did not publicize her situation or come with a contribution although they obliquely talked about the difficulty of other transgendered lives."

Penny continued to plead for money in Update 24.

Penny Arcade (Update 24, September 2015):

Holly will be released from the nursing facility where she has been for the last 3 months, sometime near her birthday, which is October 26th. All efforts are now focused to gather the home care she must have in order to go home. This will be a challenge as she needs 24 hour, 7 days a week home care. This is what this fund is for, however the costs to accomplish this are enormous. No insurance, or Government assistance will cover all she requires. At this time we have the funds to do so, but not enough to continue for a year while also providing funds for Holly's final wishes.

We must continue to communicate the need to raise even more funds in order to achieve our main goal which is to provide Holly with the professional care she needs in the comfort of her own home where she can be visited by her loved ones and have some joy in the rest of her life.

Holly's dear friend Robert Starr has been at the helm of this ship, working very hard to insure everything goes right for Holly...

Two updates later however, Penny revealed that Holly did have insurance after all but that the insurance would only cover three months at the assisted living home to which she had been moved. She also noted for the first time that "Early on in the first week of our Go Fund Me I was written to privately by a caregiver who offered to volunteer time to Holly. Robert Starr met with him and he has turned out to be a jewel with wonderful references and now has been hired to provide evening care for Holly who requires extra care at night."

But it's unclear whether by "hired" Penny means he was actually paid. Penny has never provided receipts for money that are alleged to have been spent from the account. I've been watching the fund since it was started and the balance always went up, never down (which would indicate an expense). But I've recently learned that the amount on the page is not the balance of the account - it's the total that has been contributed to the account. It doesn't decrease when money is taken out. Go Fund Me notes on their website that "withdrawing money does not affect the progress meter that's displayed on your GoFundMe campaign." Go Fund Me have, however, confirmed to me in an email that "funds have been withdrawn from this account." But how much? No receipts for expenses have ever been presented by Penny to the public.

More expenses were mentioned in Update no. 30 which also announced Holly Woodlawn's birthday.

Penny Arcade (Update 30, October 2015):

Holly has been put in Hospice care now after careful assessment by her doctors. Another caregiver had to be hired to be at her bedside from midnight to 7AM. Holly doesn't like this, but she was found on her floor in pain and had to be sent to the hospital to see if she had broken something, fortunately she was ok and returned to her assisted living.

Even with all the care at that place and additional care from Hospice nursing, Holly now needs round the clock caregivers at her side.

Night healthcare givers are very expensive. After careful calculating, we cannot afford to provide this plus the very high monthly cost of the assisted living venue in Hollywood, $4,000 per month and made adequate preparations for Holly's final needs... With the funds we have now we can provide round the clock live in care, if we are not having to figure in the cost of the assisted living venue although we are all in agreement that the assisted living venue is best for Holly.

So, at that point, according to Penny, they were paying for a private caretaker and "another" caregiver from midnight to 7 am. Update 36 clarified the "4,000 month." The State of California and not the fund was paying for that. But when were the amounts taken out to pay for the carers? How much (if anything) did they cost? Hospices and assisted-living centres do normally provide 24 hour care to their residents and that care would have been paid for by the state.

In Update 37, Penny announced that Holly was at the end of her life, although still alive. It's clear that questions were being asked about the use of the fund, however, because in the next update she felt inclined to defend herself from criticism:

Penny Arcade (Update 37, December 4, 2015):

... The original goal of this fund was to do a forensic cleaning of Holly's run down apartment, insure home care, provide for Holly's final wishes and if possible fulfil Holly's wish for a legacy in her name for transgendered youth...

I have always been TRANSPARENT about the money raised on this site. The first monies spent were for the forensic cleaning and a new bed. Holly requested a cremation and that is paid for in advance. Go Fund Me takes a percentage. Some people like to create ugliness and discord the way others like to create beauty and serenity. Some celebrity friends of Holly's are bringing negativity and suspicion at a time we should be focusing on Holly's peaceful transition. The sad thing is their accusations are not about Holly or on Holly's behalf, they are only so they can call Holly's celebrity friends and make trouble to to make themselves important.

If the "celebrity friends" were "bringing negativity and suspicion" in order to "make themselves important" they weren't very successful because nobody knew who they were. It's more likely that they expressed suspicion because they actually were suspicious. In her statement, Penny says that Go Fund Me takes a percentage. That is true and it is not unusual for crowd-funding types of sites like Go Fund Me. The service they provide needs to be paid for. A total of about 8% is deducted at the time of withdrawal. But without knowing how much has been withdrawn, how can we know how much has been paid to Go Fund Me?

In Update 40 (December 6, 2015), Penny announced Holly's death and gave another indication of where the money was going: "Plans are being made now for memorials on East and West Coasts." When Holly died she also wrote an article for Out.com in which she got the day of Holly's death wrong. She wrote that Holly died on the 7th whereas she had actually died on the 6th. (The 6th was a Sunday, the 7th a Monday.)

Penny Arcade:

On Friday November 27, a month after her 69th birthday, Warhol Superstar, cabaret singer and queer, transgender icon Holly Woodlawn slipped into unconsciousness. On Sunday, December 7, 2015, at 3:06 Pacific Time, she quietly passed away in West Hollywood’s Citi View Assisted Living Facility with friends at her bedside including fellow Warhol Superstar Little Joe Dellasandro [sic] and her former producer Gabriel Rotello. ("Penny Arcade Remembers Holly Woodlawn," Out.com, 10 December 2015.)

In addition to Penny's article, Holly's death got a lot of attention from most of the major international newspapers and a full obituary in The New York Times in which she was referred to as transgendered.

Jim Fouratt, the co-founder of 80s nightclub Dancetaria, protested the labelling of Holly as transgender (despite Penny's previous criticism of Caitlyn Jenner for not supporting a fellow transgendered person) by writing a letter to the NY Times

Posting Holly's NY Times Obituary on Facebook on December 7, Fouratt announced: "I wrote the author of of this NY Times Obit:"

Jim Fouratt - co-founder of Dancetaria

Jim Fouratt (Letter to the NY Times):

Stop trying to be politically correct, throw out your gender guidelines developed by GLAAD and never vetted with the LGBT community, I knew Holly and I knew Jackie and I knew Candy.. they were never identified as transgender. They did identify as gay men who did drag, and refused to conform to dominant gender expression roles. Brave and Outrageous each of them like creatures in a Jean Genet novel. You do a disservice to them by your choice of language. If you want a contemporary term "genderqueer" comes closes to how they each present themself,

Please correct.

Jim Fouratt.

Meanwhile on the Go Fund Me page, Penny claimed that other expenses were also covered by the fund.

Penny Arcade (Update 40):

Let us thank Holly's good friend Robert Starr for all his devotion because of him and Constance Cooper, this fund was started which gave Holly so much strength as she felt so much love from everyone who wished her well. Robert found the best doctors for Holly and her life was extended by months because of those doctors and special meds that her insurance would not have paid for. Her apartment was cleaned and readied and by an act of god the building was evacuated so Holly was able to live the past months at a level of comfort, care and dignity that would not have been possible. Holly left a notarized will laying out her last wishes. There will be memorials for Holly on both coasts."

But did the fund pay for special doctors and meds that Holly's insurance "would not have paid for?" Special doctors and special meds would have cost a fortune. Surely the state picked up the bill for medical care.

In Update 41 Penny announced she was closing the fund, but the fund is still open. What happened? Was there a problem closing the fund? Or was Penny hoping for more donations?

In Update 43 (December 9, 2015), Penny again appeared to try to hand over the reins to Robert Starr:

Penny Arcade (Update 43, December 9, 2015):

I Penny Arcade have updated this page and been the communicator for this fund that i created for Holly but also for the people who would be the hands on caregivers for Holly. Today I am posting an update by Robert Starr who has been the force behind Holly, who Holly chose as her medical proxy and executor. I leave it to Robert to tell you in his own words, blow by blow what the past 5 plus months have been of Holly's life and so you understand exactly how your donations have been spent. We intend to have memorials in Los Angeles and NY and you are all invited and if you are too far we will make sure that we post on line so you can participate.

Although at this stage, Penny appears to be handing the responsibility for the account over to Starr, has she notified Go Fund Me of that? According to their website, "If you would like someone else to take over managing your campaign, please contact our team for assistance with an account transfer."

Starr's claims only confuse the matter further. He says (in Update 43) that the fund paid for "some drugs" not covered by Holly's insurance; the "decontamination" of Holly's apartment by a company called ServePro; clothing, make-up, and a wig, "or anything else that would make her confortable;" and the cost of the additional carers. But he doesn't indicate how much all of this cost. Or which drugs weren't covered by her insurance. If Holly needed certain drugs, these drugs should have been covered. Holly never returned to her "decominated" apartment and its still unclear as to who the additional carers were and their cost.

Starr also writes that "Her Will gave instructions for her cremation and burial wishes. This was also paid for by your generosity." But when was the money taken from the account? Where are the receipts for these expenses? Starr's message also says that money was withdrawn to pay for Holly's 69th birthday party. The party was basically a cake and a few friends visiting at the assisted living center. Do you mean that you actually paid for the cake? I am sure that a bakery in L.A. would have donated one. How much was withdrawn from the money to pay for this "party?"

Starr ends his statement with "And the most important last wish Holly recorded in her Will was her instructions for me to create a fund in her name with any monies left in the GoFundMe account. I have reached out to the LGBT Center of Los Angeles and we are working on creating The Holly Woodlawn Memorial Fund benefiting underprivileged Transgender Youth. I am working to establish this fund with the remainder of your contributions. Also, there will be a crypt containing a portion of her ashes at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Your funds will also be used for memorials in Los Angeles and New York. "

I checked with the LGBT and it is true that Starr has been in touch with them but nothing has been firmed up yet. But Holly did not say in her will that she wanted her ashes divided up. She said she wanted them to be interred with her mother in Puerto Rico.

Three days after the updates from Penny and Robert Starr, Joe Dallesandro posted this message on Facebook. (As previously mentioned, Joe was at Holly's bedside when she died and was her co-star in Trash.)

Joe Dallesandro and Holly Woodlawn

Joe Dallesandro and Holly Woodlawn around the time they appeared in Trash

Joe Dallesandro (December 12, 2015):

Whenever someone I care about passes away I do something else in preparing for my own time when it comes. Two years ago i bought a plot at Hollywood Forever. Kim and I did without a few things to get it paid off and I'm happy that it's there for us. This next year, we are going to pay on the stone and the actual burial costs so that's taken care of ahead of time. If I was ever to get sick and need financial contributions the only people that would be putting something like that together would be my sons, or my daughter or Kim. So remember the last name Neveau because that is the only name besides Dallesandro that you should donate to were that to happen. And if money was donated, I've already indicated that actual receipts and spreadsheets [would] be available for anyone to look at to keep everything on the up and up. Only my family would make the statements to the press, I don't want a bunch of people that barely know me chasing the press across continents to get in the spotlight or talk about me when they don't know me at all. So this is what I've been thinking about all week and I think it's not a bad idea if everyone has a plan so that until that time comes you can enjoy life knowing everything is taken care of.

By December 22nd however, Jeremiah Newton, a friend of Candy Darling who had been in hospital, entered into the fray, saying that he was working with Penny on a memorial service in New York (his dots, not mine):

Jeremiah Newton

Jeremiah Newton at the opening of Beautiful Darling - his film about Candy Darling
(Photo: Eric Roffman)

Jeremiah Newton (December 22, 2015):

I'm back!

After a three-month respite, I've managed to get back on Facebook. My health, as many of you know, has been bad. I was back in the hospital... The kidneys... The sugar levels... The heart!!! I've got a lot to do and many plans despite what a pastiche of doctors say. Meanwhile...

The death of my beloved cousin Lois. The passing of the irreplaceable Holly Woodland [sic]. Penny Arcade and I are planning a memorial service this Spring, in Manhattan. Penny is an incredible talent and a great friend of mine, God bless her. Holly loved her and the three of us go way back. Holly's ashed [sic] will be interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A. and in Puerto Rico, with her mother.

Life is strange, aint it?

On December 28th, Penny followed this up with what was probably one of her more controversial updates on the Go Fund Me site, in which she appeared to say that Holly's will would not be followed in regard to her ashes. As mentioned earlier, Holly had requested that her ashes be interred in her mother's grave but Penny apparently decided to change this and divide the ashes up between the family and Hollywood Forever.

Penny Arcade (Update 44, December 28, 2015):

Dearest Friends of Holly

It is hard to believe that Holly is no longer in our midst and yet with her infinite curiosity, I am sure if it is at possible [sic] Holly will be watching over us.

I wanted to say a couple of things about Holly's final resting places and her memorial. Holly requested her ashes to be placed with her mother in Puerto Rico but since Holly is a public person who will continue to influence and inspire the world it is fitting that she have a visitable home in LA and the most perfect place is Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This is being organized as we speak.

There will be an LA Memorial organized by her good friends Robert Starr and Constance Cooper and that memorial will be small and by invitation.

There will be a memorial in NY and that will be open to all. I have been in discussions with La Mama Etc and we have been trying to find a perfect date. My belief now is that it will probably take place in May when I return from touring to Australia. I will post information on this site but you can also write to me at FB or you can write me here and I will write back.

Thank you for everyone for loving Holly and making her last months of gratitude and appreciation.

Love Penny Arcade.

So, it appeared from that update that many of the people who paid their hard earned money to "Bring Holly Home" would not even be invited to the LA memorial if they lived in that area, and that even if they lived on the east coast they'd have to wait for Penny to finish touring Australia before they got to pay their respects.

Joe Dallesandro, who lives in a modest apartment in L.A., came to the rescue by posting the following message on his Facebook page later on the same day.

Joe Dallesandro (December 28, 2015):

I want to reassure Holly Woodlawn's fans living in or around the Los Angeles area that I am now working with Hollywood Forever to figure out a memorial that everyone is invited to since it was announced by the fundraiser there would only be a small private invitation memorial in Los Angeles.. We are going to talk over options since I did not collect money that was earmarked for these things as the fundraiser did. Once I get an idea of what is possible and available I will let everyone know so we can send Holly off the way she always dreamed of with all of you there wishing her well.

The "fundraiser" mentioned was, of course, Penny Arcade. His statement makes it clear that he was not involved in her fundraising effort. The replies to Joe's message were heartwarming. 385 people "liked" the message on Facebook, including the actress and performance artist Ann Magnuson, writer David Ehrenstein, performance artist Ron Athey, Craig Highberger (friend of Jackie Curtis and the award winning author/director of Superstar in a Housedress: The Life and Legend of Jackie Curtis) and Jackie Curtis' cousin Joe Preston. (Jackie had appeared with Holly in Women in Revolt.)

One Joe fan commented "You are so caring." Another fan wrote "That's the way to do it!" And another person thanked him as it would "be nice for all her LA fans to pay our respects to." When someone suggested that IndiGoGo could be used a crowd funding source for the event, Joe replied, "No, we'll figure it out without more fundraising."

The day after Joe's message, Penny posted this on her Go Fund Me page:

Penny Arcade (December 29, 2015):

Dear Friends of Holly

It seems that the way I stated that there will be a visitable site for Holly at Hollywood Forever Cemetery has made some people think that Holly's wish to have her ashes interred in her mother's grave in Puerto Rico is not going to happen. this is a misunderstanding. Her ashes will indeed be interred in PR with her mother AND Holly will have a place in Hollywood where people from all over the world and all walks of life can pay there respects to her and her life and what she stood for. There is often a small undercurrent of drama attached to the passing of an icon and Holly's passing is no different. Holly's appointed caregivers are holding a memorial that THEY have said is by invitation. Certainly they cannot know everyone who was friends with Holly so if you are in LA and that is the memorial you are able to attend please write me here and i will get you in touch with them. There was talk of a public event for Holly in Los Angeles at Hollywood Forever Cemetery that would have been hosted by Factory people - this has been yet to announced and while I was told of it I have not been asked to announce it so I cannot. However when I am told that i can publicize it, I will post it here. I am excited that there will be a memorial in NY at LaMama Etc where Holly performed that is open to all. People who knew Holly and who were friends with Holly who wish to speak at the memorial please email me here. I am working on the date for this spring for Holly's NY memorial and i will announce it here asap.

Everyone is invited!! There is about to be important news about Holly and I will send a post when I am allowed to .
The exciting thing is that Holly will live forever in the minds and hearts of people and that she will continue to be a beacon of individuality and an inspiration, not only to people at risk but to all free thinkers.

Penny Arcade

So, as things stand now, Holly's ashes are going to be interred with Holly's mother after all (and I assume this will be all of her ashes), but there will be some sort of "visitable site" at Hollywood Forever. If you want to go to the L.A. memorial ceremony, however, you will need to contact Penny who will relay your request to Holly's friends in L.A. and you may or may not get invited - despite the fact that your money is being used to pay for the party. Penny makes reference to a "public event" in L.A. but presumably that refers to the one that Joe Dallesandro is arranging. (Joe is not asking for donations for that one.) Meanwhile, Penny is planning a large memorial ceremony in New York where she (Penny) lives and where Holly hasn't lived for the past two decades. But you'll have to wait until Penny gets back from Australia for the New York memorial.

What expenses have been deducted from the fund continues to be unclear. At one point Penny seemed to imply that the expenses were needed for Holly's accomodation but later admitted that the State of California paid for that. If some of the money was paid to Holly's carers, how much was it and when was it deducted from the fund? How much did the birthday party actually cost? In regard to the memorial ceremonies, they usually don't cost a lot. The venue is normally donated and if there is a bar, people usually don't mind paying for their drinks. I doubt if donors contributed their money thinking that it was going to subsidize somebody's drinks bill.

So where is the $68,000 going? How much is left? Penny, don't you think your donors are at least entitled to have a list of what, exactly, their hard-earned money has paid for and how much it cost?

Gary Comenas
January 1, 2016

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