CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – For two years, 59-year old Sharon Lynn Brindamour worked as the treasurer at the GFWC Woman’s Club of Clearwater and over that period of time, investigators learned she was stealing thousands of dollars.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Corporal Travis Sibley explains the club contacted authorities after a management change. The books just didn’t look right.
“During that time she embezzled more than $160,000 in charitable donations for her own personal use,” said Corporal Sibley, who went on to say that she wasn’t using the donated funds for emergencies. “She went to the Hard Rock in Tampa, she went to the Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale, she went to Harras in Biloxi, Mississippi, she spent it on her own personal car insurance.”
The head of the local GFWC chapter declined to comment. But the GFWC state president Dianne Foerster issued the following statement:
GFWC Florida is aware of the unfortunate issues that have taken place in the GFWC Woman’s Club of Clearwater. Each GFWC affiliate club functions independently in organization, finances and activities. The actions in question of one member do not reflect the goals and aims of the club, GFWC Florida or of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which are all dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.GFWC state president Dianne Foerster
The monies the GFWC Woman’s Club of Clearwater collect benefit local charities and nonprofit groups like the Clearwater Free Clinic.
“Our mission is to help improve the health of the community as a whole,” Clinic’s Development Director Meredith Reagin said “By helping people that don’t have the means to access care themselves.”
Chief Executive Officer Jeannie Shapiro explains it hurts when someone takes those much needed dollars.
“We don’t get any funding from the government, state or local government agencies,” said Shapiro. “So everything that we raise is through the community. “
Eight On Your Side caught up with Brindamour as she walked out of the county jail after posting a $50,000 bond.
Other than saying, “sorry” she remained quiet. But Corporal Sibley says she explained her actions to detectives.
“And she said it was just too easy, is what she told detectives,” Sibley said.