Sanctuaries sue Powerball lottery winner over unpaid pledges
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:
EPPING, N.H.–Mary Ellen Sanderson, co-winner of a $66
million Powerball lottery in 1997, has been sued by a second animal
charity to which she pledged annual funding. Sued earlier by the
Oasis Sanctuary Foundation, a tropical bird sanctuary located at
Cascabel, Arizona, Sanderson was also sued in July 2004 by Equine
Protection of North America–which Sanderson helped to create,
reported Manchester Union Leader correspondent Toby Henry.
The original EPONA directors, Henry indicated, were
president Susan Fockler and director Ronald Levesque, both of
Epping, New Hampshire, and Mary Ellen and James Sanderson, then a
married couple. As with the Oasis Sanctuary, Mary Ellen Sanderson
helped EPONA to obtain a sanctuary site. The EPONA facility, near
Dover, New Hampshire, houses about 25 horses at a time, Hnery said.
According to Henry, the lawsuit alleges that Mary Ellen
Sanderson agreed to give EPONA $70,000 a year, amounting to more
than 80% of the organization’s entire budget. The Oasis Sanctuary
suit claims Mary Ellen Sanderson was to donate $100,000 a year.
Both organizations were cut off at the end of 2003, after
the Sandersons divorced.