GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids tennis pro Bill Przybysz says he beat leukemia and wants his Miracle Match Foundation to create miracles for others "from simple smiles to total cures."
The Miracle Match Foundation has staged celebrity tennis matches around the country since 1997 in an effort to raise money. But even with big names like Pete Sampras and John McEnroe, the foundation has generated few funds for sick kids or leukemia research.
According to its 2004 financial statements filed with the IRS, Miracle Match was able to spend only $3,616 on "sick kids/family support" and nothing for research, while listing a negative balance of $377,000 for that year.
The 2004 financial statement was the last one provided to the IRS and it wasn't sent until 2010. That is why the IRS withdrew the foundation's non-profit status in 2010 as it cracked down on charities that failed to make financial reports.
Przybysz told Target 8 he became ill again in 2007 and for the next three years was in and out of the hospital. He said the foundation was "dormant" during that time, so it filed no financial reports. His lawyers, he said, have squared things with the IRS and reapplied for charity status. He expects to get it back soon.
Even without it, the Miracle Match Foundation resumed staging tennis events with an exhibition featuring Pete Sampras in Indianapolis in late January, and there will be others later this year, Przybysz said.
Przybysz himself is in financial trouble.
He filed for bankrkuptcy in 2010. Just last week the trustee managing his bankruptcy moved to force a debtor examination of Przybysz because he believes he "has not been forthcoming or has been inconsistent about" his financial affairs. The trustee is trying to find out where all the money went and suspects some loans were repaid "on fraudulent terms."
Przybysz listed debts of more than $2.8 million while his assets were $1,508,915.
But he also said in his bankruptcy petition that $1.5 million is money he believes is owed to him by a man who Przybysz claims "withdrew his support and never sent any funds," leaving just under $9,000 in actual assets.
The bankruptcy does not involve his Miracle Match Foundation, he told Target 8, and that the debts came from three for-profit businesses he owns.
Still his bankruptcy filing lists the foundation as a co-debtor and is listed in one of 14 lawsuits in which his petition says there are either cases pending or judgements granted against him.
Przybysz blames his renewed illness in 2007 for running up the debts.
He said he had to cancel some for-profit events and, along with medical bills and being in the hospital in 2008, 2009 and 2010, he couldn't keep up.
His Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition shows he owes big amounts from loans he failed to repay.
- $550,000 from a 2008 loan from Black Diamond Capital of Jefferson North Carolina which was "used for business purposes."
- $350,000 from a promissory note to Doug and Maria DeVos.
- $340,000 from a business loan from Merwyn Koster of Allendale.
- $312,000 from a business loan from Roger Clark of Wyoming.
- $204,000 from a 2007 Huntington National Bank loan.
- $177,000 from a Founders Bank and Trust loan.
He said he will provide all the documentation the bankruptcy trustee demands when he is scheduled to give a sworn statement next week and expects that "all will be squared away" after that.
"I have leukemia," he says. "I did my best."
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