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Melissa in Australia

so what would your child's reaction be?

how would your child feel  

98 members have voted

  1. 1. how would your child feel?

    • getting second in the state finals should be enough reward
      4
    • a little put off but willing to bake more next year
      25
    • completely disappointed , vowed to never bake again in the competition
      58
    • other
      11


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So my children have been competing in the Junior Boiled Fruit Cake competition in the agricultural show for the last 21 years. As there are never many entries in our remote agricultural show one or another of my children have for the last 21 years made it to the regional judging. a few years ago one ds made it to the Royal Melbourne Show but got 8th ( last). this year that same ds made it to the Melbourne agricultural Show finals and came second. the entry form s stage the prize for second is $100 cashprize.. He was very very excited that he went further than his 3 older brothers and 1 older sister. they were all very excited for him as they know how hard it is to bake the prefect cake three times in a row ( one for each level) none of them made it to the state Finals.

 But when we rang up to get the prize they said they will send the prize- He received a $50 voucher to a small family run dried sultana boutique  online shop . He can only use the voucher to get very overpriced boutique sultanas and apparently a hamper will be coming soon from the Royal Melbourne Show with ingredients to bake another  the cake.  DS hates sultanas ( I think you guys call them raisins - which confusingly  is a different type of dried grape here, very large )

 I rang them up to ask what was going on and they said yes they know the entry form has cashprize written but they have a few last minute sponsors after the entry forms were sent out. I did remind them that this is a KIDS competition and a KID is not interested in ingredients or another cake but rather wanting to receive  the MONEY. I got nowhere 

 how would your child feel??

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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I don't know about vowing to never bake again (a couple of my kids love to bake), but completely disappointed? Oh yes. Switching prizes was disingenuous.

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I think my child would feel the same way I would feel:  Shocked, very disappointed, probably angry.

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Either two or three depending on the day. Once promised a prize, it should not change!  My daughter was in a scientific study that promised cash payment and was disappointed when we got a check instead!

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If the organizers think the sultana and cake ingredients are worth $100, it should buy them off of him and give him the $100 cash promised

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4 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I mean vowing to never bake in the competition, not bake in general

 

Well, with that clarification, I would vote for disappointed and not about to go to the effort to enter that competition again to win $50 worth of fancy little raisins.

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The more I think about it, regardless of what my kids wanted, I would be tempted to not want to participate again if they were going to bait and switch like this.

 

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I put other because mine would be stung by the unfairness and mad, and probably wouldn't enter again. And Ixd be ticked off, too, and give them a piece of my mind. Not that I've any to spare...

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9 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

we have in writing - the letter send with the entry form for the state finals -  that it would be a cashprize 

I would ask which adult prizes were substituted as well? Was there an adult cash prize that was also substituted with food?

Maybe a letter send to the judging board about raising children with honor and that using a bait and switch tactic to trick  a kid is not only unethical, it is unkind as well.  Was there a theme to this event? Maybe illustrate how the theme isn't being represented by the judges actions (because, what theme would support that?) is also inappropriate.

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*I* would be hopping mad!  That’s a total bait and switch, and dishonest to boot!  I would probably write to all judges and sponsors and newspapers, and it would absolutely be the end of our family’s participation in that competition.

That’s just terrible.

Anne

 

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My kids would not want to enter that competition again.  They would be as equally ticked as I would.  Makes me want to where did the cash prize go? Because my logic would be thinking that great sponsers, let’s send each winner a little gift of ingredients to bake another cake along with the cash prize they won.

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4 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

My kids would not want to enter that competition again.  They would be as equally ticked as I would.  Makes me want to where did the cash prize go? Because my logic would be thinking that great sponsers, let’s send each winner a little gift of ingredients to bake another cake along with the cash prize they won.

I would be inclined to call (or go in if it is local) the shop and thank them for the gift, but decline it. I would let them know that the event substituted it for the prize he was supposed to recieve. It would be interesting to hear if they were aware that the prize was in lieu of what was supposed to be given. 

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I'd tweet it to some local reporters and see what they said.  I think a lot of them would have fun doing a story about a child being the subject of fraud.

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here - sultanas are "white raisens".  opinions would vary.

I think whomever is running it should be ashamed of themselves.  basically - they changed the 'reward', knew they changed it, made no announcement they had changed it, - and basically took an attitude of "tough".

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28 minutes ago, Tap said:

I would be inclined to call (or go in if it is local) the shop and thank them for the gift, but decline it. I would let them know that the event substituted it for the prize he was supposed to recieve. It would be interesting to hear if they were aware that the prize was in lieu of what was supposed to be given. 

the shop is an internet shop based in the far side of the state. I have messaged them 3 times. once they replied by sending me a blurb about how great their sultanas are. they haven't replied to my other messages.

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I asked DS12. He said he would feel very disappointed (ripped off), but that he would try again the next year.

I would be curious what the cash donor would think. Hopefully they didn’t use the cash portion to make up the basket of other ingredients, to complete the sultana “prize”.

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5 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

the shop is an internet shop based in the far side of the state. I have messaged them 3 times. once they replied by sending me a blurb about how great their sultanas are. they haven't replied to my other messages.

Makes me wonder if they have  a personal tie in with someone the event board.  

 

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54 minutes ago, Tap said:

Makes me wonder if they have  a personal tie in with someone the event board.  

 

Or they did nothing other than donate a prize and don't want to get in the middle.

I don't think sponsors have much say in how their donations are used.

 

If my company donated a prize to a contest and ended up with that winner telling us a sad tale afterward about the prize, we'd probably go quiet as well. If we said the wrong thing it'd be used against us and what is the right thing to say? All we did is donate a prize. we didn't demand it be given to the kid who won 2nd and was promised a different prize.  We might well decided not to donate prizes in the future to avoid the hassle.

 

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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We interchange sultana and golden raisin.

I would probably write a letter to the competition.  That's very poor treatment, especially for children.

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If there had been no mention of a cash prize then getting second would have been enough but a cash prize was promised for second prize and that is what he should get.  I would be interested in knowing how many cash prizes were substituted.

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5 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

Or they did nothing other than donate a prize and don't want to get in the middle.

I don't think sponsors have much say in how their donations are used.

 

If my company donated a prize to a contest and ended up with that winner telling us a sad tale afterward about the prize, we'd probably go quiet as well. If we said the wrong thing it'd be used against us and what is the right thing to say? All we did is donate a prize. we didn't demand it be given to the kid who won 2nd and was promised a different prize.  We might well decided not to donate prizes in the future to avoid the hassle.

 

 

 

what would you recommend I do?

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Honestly, I think we’d have a good laugh.

DS is an athlete. He’s come in second (or third, or...) enough in his life that not placing first wouldn’t bother him. The “prize” of course is ridiculous and you bet it would make for a hilarious, if initially disappointing, family joke. 

Changing the prize is weird, but wouldn’t raise red flags to me. I’m sure it happens all the time. And the powers that be are notoriously out of touch, so substituting raisins for cash in a kids baking competition probably didn’t register as terribly unusual. After all, aren’t they an ingredient in the category (not entirely sure what a boiled fruit cake is, but it sounds to me like it might have raisins). 

Idk. I’d encourage them to laugh it off, donate the fancy raisins if your family doesn’t like them, and move on. Learning to deal with disappointment is a life skill.

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My kids would probably say this felt like A Christmas Story.

”Don’t forget your drink your Ovaltine!” 🤨😫

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I'm sure they'd be disappointed.  But as we've talked about here many times, small organizations that are often run by volunteers are hit and miss.  Sometimes flaky things like that happen and they'd likely roll with it.  Maybe they're low on funds and they had these gift cards sitting around.  Maybe staffing shifted.  If they really liked baking, they'd probably keep doing it.  If they were only doing it for the money, the might quit.  Which would be fine.  

Agree learning to deal with disappointment is a life skill.  I wouldn't allow my kid to victimize himself over it.  I could see it becoming family legend.  One of those stories that come up over and over.  LOL!  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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8 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I rang them up to ask what was going on and they said yes they know the entry form has cashprize written but they have a few last minute sponsors after the entry forms were sent out. I did remind them that this is a KIDS competition and a KID is not interested in ingredients or another cake but rather wanting to receive  the MONEY. I got nowhere 

I wouldn't even tell my kid. I'd give him the $100 and make a stink in the news, post it on FB, contact the sponsors, and just generally tell them where to shove it.

At this point I'm thinking @FuzzyCatz has way better character than I do. :biggrin:

Edited by PeterPan
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4 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I wouldn't even tell my kid. I'd give him the $100 and make a stink in the news, post it on FB, contact the sponsors, and just generally tell them where to shove it.

At this point I'm thinking @FuzzyCatz has way better character than I do. :biggrin:

ROFL.  It might be a sign I have little faith in humanity.  😂

Really I feel like I wasted a lot of emotional energies as a kid, teen and young adult about things that really weren't going to matter in 6 months.  I save my outrage for real injustices now.   I might send them a letter or post on social media or help my kid do so  - I do stuff like that at times.  But I guess I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

I've also been an unpaid volunteer getting outrage about something that wasn't my doing, so I am sympathetic to volunteers too when I don't know the back story.  I doubt there are a bunch of highly trained professionals running this contest.  We have stuff like this at our state fair and I've entered needlework.  Liklihood of winning a prize increases manyfold if you are know someone or involved on the volunteer judging board.  I know I will never win.  I sometimes enter stuff anyway just for display.  So I just in general have low expectations on stuff like this.

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

what would you recommend I do?

 

Contact the contest organizers. If the people are not responding, is there an organization that sponsors the contest you can talk to? Decide how much of a stink publically you want to make about it

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It sounds like distances were involved, I wonder (mostly tongue in cheek) if this could be considered mail fraud?

My dc were shocked at the situation. I don't know if they would, but I certainly wouldn't be expending any effort encouraging the contest next year.

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My kid would be disappointed, and I'd have to rethink involvement with the organization that basically didn't hold up their half of the bargain.

One of mine had something similar happen at a state level competition with a child's group that is very popular here. She was not awarded her proper place nor prize because the organization was not well organized in that state contest section (in fact one of the question stations did not have the correct item that you were supposed to identify (multiple choice) and my dd was the only one who raised her hand to let the organizers know). I didn't actually realize she won until I looked at the results online and the organization had mislabeled her. She didn't get to walk the stage to receive the prize, her top score was not acknowledged, in fact the group was a little embarrassed about the mess-up. They did, however, send my daughter a very nice prize in the mail. This group never discloses what the prizes will be in advance, so there was no disappointment in that. However, she was disappointed that she didn't get the honor of walking the stage to be awarded her prize and be acknowledged for her success. 

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9 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

 sultanas ( I think you guys call them raisins - which confusingly  is a different type of dried grape here, very large )

 

I believe sultanas are known as golden raisins in the US. 

Raisins are the dark tender raisins and people eat them straight out of the box or in trail mix or use in baking.

the tiny hard raisins (only used in baking?) I think are currants but not sure.

 

My kids would be mad and might say they aren't going to bake for competitiion anymore.  Getting something you hate instead of money is a huge disappointment.

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I keep thinking about an adult expecting an IRS return and receiving a postcard stating instead of money, they will be getting a subscription to a monthly fruit basket...and a nice set of Tupperware. 😂

(Obviously, reimbursement of withheld earnings is different than a prize, but I imagine some of the emotion would feel the same!)

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Don’t accept anything other than the cash prize your son is entitled to. 

Set an example for him that when someone cheats you, you have to stand up for yourself and fight for what’s right, and to get what you were promised. He deserves the cash prize and I think you should do everything possible to ensure that he gets it. 

If you persist and the organizer still refuses to give your son his prize, let us know if you need people to send angry emails or barrage their social media with shock and outrage, because I’m sure many of us here on this forum will be happy to help you. I also like the idea of contacting your local media if they refuse to give your son his money, but you should probably get something in writing from the organizer that admits that they switched the prize, so you will have written evidence of what happened. Instead of calling again, can you contact the event organizer via email? 

Seriously, FIGHT. Don’t let your son think people are allowed to cheat him and that he should accept it without a battle. I think kids need to learn to accept disappointment when they lose a competition or when something doesn’t go their way, but in this case, I think the better lesson is that you stand up for yourself when someone cheats you out of what is rightfully yours. I wouldn’t teach my son to accept being cheated out of his money.

Edited by Catwoman
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My kids would be disappointed and wouldn't enter that contest again! But, we would laugh about it after feelings of disappointment settled down.

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2 hours ago, MEmama said:

 Learning to deal with disappointment is a life skill.

Learning to advocate for yourself is a life skill as well, and it's the one I'd go for in this scenario. 

$100 would have been quite a substantial amount of money for my kids in high school. I think it's fine to pursue the prize as advertised. They might be tight for money, but they advertised the prize and I'm quite sure they have it. They'd rather not give it, but that's not the same as not being able to give it. I know she's in a different country, but I worked for non-profits for years and this would be regarded as shady as heck. Be polite but firm and let them know you will pursue it if they say no. This prize was promised in writing. I don't want to file a formal complaint but I will. I don't want to cast you in a bad light publicly but I will. 

I agree with Cat about sending an email instead of calling again. BCC all the officers plus the board of directors (in case terms differ, you want to email both people who work for the nonprofit and, more importantly, people who volunteer on the governing board). Don't mention complaining or anything in the first email, just be clear that ds is massively disappointed and wants the prize as advertised. 

 

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9 minutes ago, katilac said:

Learning to advocate for yourself is a life skill as well, and it's the one I'd go for in this scenario. 

$100 would have been quite a substantial amount of money for my kids in high school. I think it's fine to pursue the prize as advertised. They might be tight for money, but they advertised the prize and I'm quite sure they have it. They'd rather not give it, but that's not the same as not being able to give it. I know she's in a different country, but I worked for non-profits for years and this would be regarded as shady as heck. Be polite but firm and let them know you will pursue it if they say no. This prize was promised in writing. I don't want to file a formal complaint but I will. I don't want to cast you in a bad light publicly but I will. 

I agree with Cat about sending an email instead of calling again. BCC all the officers plus the board of directors (in case terms differ, you want to email both people who work for the nonprofit and, more importantly, people who volunteer on the governing board). Don't mention complaining or anything in the first email, just be clear that ds is massively disappointed and wants the prize as advertised.

 

 

I agree with Katilac! I think this is the perfect way to handle it. Start out being very matter-of-fact about it and make it clear that you assume your son will be receiving the advertised prize. Don’t threaten them with any kind of retaliation because the fact that you are pursuing this may very will be enough to get the correct prize. 

Is there any chance that the head of the organization may not even know that someone down the line switched the prize (and may now have an extra $100 in her wallet as a result?)  Start out by assuming they made a mistake and that you would like them to correct their mistake. Then go from there if they don’t agree to send your son his money. 

And let your son be involved in the process. Working through a situation like this can help him learn methods of successfully dealing with people who don’t treat him fairly, and will make him more comfortable about advocating for himself without feeling self-conscious about it. 

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I'm wondering if this is the first year that they've substituted prizes, or if it's an ongoing practice.

Edited by PeppermintPattie
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1 hour ago, katilac said:

Learning to advocate for yourself is a life skill as well, and it's the one I'd go for in this scenario. 

 

 

Oh I agree. It just wouldn’t occur for me to be fussed much in this situation. 🤷‍♀️

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Personally, I'd buy the sultanas off of my dc and give him the cash. We do this kind of thing all the time if they receive gift certificates for birthday presents.

I don't know how my child would feel. I imagine pretty darn excited for winning any kind of prize as well as the prestige of coming second in a major competition.

We don't participate in many competitions, and have no experience with cash prizes. We do things for the fun of it, and the learning experience.

Edited by wintermom
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4 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

ROFL.  It might be a sign I have little faith in humanity.  😂

Really I feel like I wasted a lot of emotional energies as a kid, teen and young adult about things that really weren't going to matter in 6 months.  I save my outrage for real injustices now.   I might send them a letter or post on social media or help my kid do so  - I do stuff like that at times.  But I guess I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

I've also been an unpaid volunteer getting outrage about something that wasn't my doing, so I am sympathetic to volunteers too when I don't know the back story.  I doubt there are a bunch of highly trained professionals running this contest.  We have stuff like this at our state fair and I've entered needlework.  Liklihood of winning a prize increases manyfold if you are know someone or involved on the volunteer judging board.  I know I will never win.  I sometimes enter stuff anyway just for display.  So I just in general have low expectations on stuff like this.

except - people who cheat at this level, go on to cheat at higher levels.  they think they can get away with it.

I was reading the case of an accountant arrested for embezzlement from her employer.  the previous employer didn't have enough evidence for her to be arrested - but they did fire her.  when called by the next company (who were apparently dazzled by her resume and interview skills), they were real strong in their wording of "we absolutely wouldn't hire her again"  (they couldn't say she embezzled, she hadn't been convicted.).   well - the next company did get enough evidence for her to be arrested and convicted.

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I wish you would post the recipe.  I was thinking of something like a sticky date pudding but maybe you could clarify.

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I would raise a stink on social media anywhere they advertise the contest for next year.

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I am honestly surprised at how many people, without knowing any details beyond the few provided by one side in the OP, made the immediate assumption that the fair organisers are “cheating” by providing a different prize.

I deal with a lot of non profits, and not one of them puts forth a professional, cohesive public face. The number of times I am told one thing only to have it change three more times and finally disregarded altogether before settling back on yet something else altogether...well, I just expect it by now. There are lots of (volunteering) hands in every decision, and miscommunication is commonplace. So I would assume the best in this situation and just move on. Never would it occur to me to assume high level cheating (for a kids cooking competition at a fair? Really?), nor can I imagine this being important enough to scandalise them on social media. The immediate, unquestioning rush to judge this decision explains a lot. 

Edited by MEmama
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14 minutes ago, MEmama said:

I am honestly surprised at how many people, without knowing any details beyond the few provided by one side in the OP, made the immediate assumption that the fair organisers are “cheating” by providing a different prize.

I deal with a lot of non profits, and not one of them puts forth a professional, cohesive public face. The number of times I am told one thing only to have it change three more times and finally disregarded altogether before settling back on yet something else altogether...well, I just expect it by now. There are lots of (volunteering) hands in every decision, and miscommunication is commonplace. So I would assume the best in this situation and just move on. Never would it occur to me to assume high level cheating (for a kids cooking competition at a fair? Really?), nor can I imagine this being important enough to scandalise them on social media. The immediate, unquestioning rush to judge this decision explains a lot. 

 

But there is no mistake. The prize was described in the entry materials:

15 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

we have in writing - the letter send with the entry form for the state finals -  that it would be a cashprize 

 

Because Melissa and all of the other entrants received the letter stating specifically that the cash prize would be awarded, I think she has every right to insist that they honor that promise. Hopefully, once she contacts whomever is in charge and attaches a copy of that letter, they will make things right and send her son his $100.00. 

Personally, I think it’s a pretty rotten thing to do to promise kids a $100 cash prize but send a gift card for only $50.00 that can only be used to buy fancy raisins that the kids probably don’t even want. If the organization received a donation of the gift cards as potential prizes, they should have added them to the already-advertised cash prizes as a surprise bonus, or simply given them away as extra prizes so more kids could win something (like maybe as a surprise honorable mention gift.) 

Disorganized or not, and well-meaning or not, the organization should live up to their written promise, and hopefully a polite-but-firm email to whomever is in charge will make that happen.

Edited by Catwoman
Typo!
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6 hours ago, Mbelle said:

I believe sultanas are known as golden raisins in the US. 

Raisins are the dark tender raisins and people eat them straight out of the box or in trail mix or use in baking.

the tiny hard raisins (only used in baking?) I think are currants but not sure.

 

My kids would be mad and might say they aren't going to bake for competitiion anymore.  Getting something you hate instead of money is a huge disappointment.

No raisins here are a very large type of grape. The dried raisin is very large and has to be cut to bake it. It is only used for speciality cooking and are very expensive.

Sultanas are the ones that are used for general use, they are a seedless grape and the most common. You can eat them straight, use them in cooking or trail mix,

currents are a very very small grape and have a distinct flavour. They are also used just in baking.

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I’d feel differently if this was obvious criminal behavior or if someone was trying to shaft my kid a paycheck.  My go to wouldn’t be that some volunteer was stealing kid’s prize money.  Did you sign a contract to enter this contest?   Are there paid professional employees? That might shift my opinion a bit too.   Like I said, I might send a one off letter. But for a small volunteer non profit, I’d move on quickly.   I’ve volunteered for 2 different non profits today alone and it just can be messy.  

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