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Better Business Bureau questions charity claims of N.S. pub crawl


HALIFAX - The Better Business Bureau is investigating a Nova Scotia entrepreneur behind the World's Largest Pub Crawl.
Jonathan Deyoung's membership in the consumer watchdog has been suspended after doubts surfaced about claims he has donated - and will donate - proceeds from the event to charity.
"I'm having a hard time trying to find the charitable aspect of this," bureau CEO Don MacKinnon said Wednesday.
Deyoung expects to sell 16,000 $25 tickets for the March 29 event, which has been expanded from one held in Halifax last year to Ottawa, London, Ont., and St. John's, N.L., and renamed "Canada's Biggest Party."
Deyoung, 23, is trying to make the Guinness World Records with the 10-hour event.
MacKinnon asked Deyoung on Wednesday to remove the title "World's Largest Charity Pub Crawl" from his bureau-endorsed Internet page.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving turned down Deyoung's offer of a donation after last year's crawl because it's against their policy to accept money from an event where booze flows.
Deyoung claims he gave the money to another charity, but signed an agreement that he wouldn't disclose the name of the charity or the amount.
MacKinnon said he's never heard of a charity asking not to be named. He also finds this year's highly touted charitable aspect equally questionable.
Deyoung has offered to plant a tree in the name of each crawl participant. But MacKinnon said the trees will be planted at the for-profit Christmas tree farm of Deyoung's friend, Andrew MacIsaac.
"Planting a tree provides so much," Deyoung said in defending the move. "It provides clean air. It provides homes for animals and insects. It helps out with just the Earth in itself.
"It's symbolic. I like the fact that a tree will be planted in my name that will be used around Christmas time."
(Halifax Daily News)

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