School Says Broken Alliance Cost Them $500K

Abi's Place says two other schools promised to help get them votes for online contest

A small special needs school is breaking out the big legal guns in a battle over what it says is their piece of grant money pie.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, Coral Springs' Abi's Place has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Margate's Hebrew Academy Community School and Tamarac's Rohr Bais Chaya Academy for allegedly cutting the ten-student school out of a contest alliance.

The beef is over a Facebook contest sponsored by Kohl's. Facebook members were encouraged to vote for any of the non-profit schools enrolled in the contest, and the 20 schools with the most votes at the end each won $500,000. Individuals were only allowed five votes each, so many schools apparently formed alliances to boost their numbers.

Zimmerman claims that one of her co-directors ran into a rabbi from one of the Jewish schools who was soliciting votes at a coffee shop. She says he suggested Abi's Place get in on the alliance he had formed with the other Jewish school, however no official contract was ever drawn up.

Months into heavy vote campaigning, and less than three days before the contest was over, Zimmerman claims her school was dropped from the alliance, leaving her school no time to form other alliances.

Dan Kaskel, the two schools' attorney, said that his clients included Abi's Place in their alliance as a favor, and had, throughout the voting period, told Zimmerman she and her staff needed to step up their ballot casting game. When Abi's Place didn't, the school got the boot.

At the end of the contest, both the Hebrew Academy Community School and Rohr Bais Chaya finished in the top 20, earning them half a mil each. Abi's Place got a whole lot of  nothing. 

Now, Zimmerman wants the other two schools to fork over her lost winnings.

"I want the community to know," Zimmerman told the Sentinel, "that what was done was very shady."

Call us crazy, but, um, isn't trying to fix a contest for needy schools kinda shady? Just sayin.

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