$5,000 check to Buena Vista Township raises questions about Summer Breeze concerts

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BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (9/7/2017) - Payment for a concert in Buena Vista Township is raising questions about where the money came from and why the township received the money.

The $5,000 check to Buena Vista Township Supervisor Christina Dillard came from a company that hosted the Summer Breeze concert. However, the township was not involved in hosting the concert and leaders aren't sure why the township benefited financially.

"Of course it's a great event and one that we welcome to the township, but its not a township event," Dillard said.

The Summer Breeze Festival concerts started in 2011 and had been held outside the Buena Vista Community Center until August, when the O'Jays performed in the Temple Theater in Saginaw. The $5,000 check in question was part of the proceeds for the O'Jays concert.

"Of course I had to send it back because we did not have such an event in the township," Dillard said. "The township does not have a Summer Breeze."

She was concerned that the business which sent the $5,000 may have mistakenly believed the township was responsible for hosting the event -- and that it may not be alone.

Sheldon Matthews, who organizes the concerts, received a letter from Buena Vista Township's attorney asking him to refrain from using the township's logo in promoting the event. Township leaders also want a list of contributors to the concerts.

Some of the purported contributors claim they did not make any contributions to the event. PNC Bank's logo appeared on the 2015 event's promotional poster, but a spokeswoman said the bank never gave money for the concert.

Several other companies with logos on the poster contacted by ABC12 are checking their records to see whether they made any contributions to the concerts.

Former township supervisor Frances Hayes has questioned how the concerts were funded and who was profiting for the past few years.

"There was no justification for the township," she said. "We did not benefit from those Summer Breeze concerts."

Matthews declined to comment on Thursday about the township's demands for his records.

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