Vendors want their money back from Operation Show You Care
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Each day thousands of men and women risk their lives serving our country. So when some local businesses heard about an event to honor service members, they eagerly signed up. But after multiple delays, they're wondering if it's ever going to happen.
"I wanted to be part of that more than anything," explained Debbie Resly.
Supporting the military community holds a special place in Debbie's heart.
"Losing two brothers in Vietnam," said Debbie.
That's why this small business owner jumped at the chance to buy a booth at Troopfest, a military concert being put on by Operation Show You Care. It was set for July at Sam Boyd Stadium.
"I was really excited about it ," said Debbie.
Debbie filled out an application and cut a check to the organization for $350 in late May. But weeks before the event was supposed to happen, Debbie got a tip that it might not. So she called Operation Show You Care's office.
"[He] says we don't exactly have the Sam Boyd Stadium but we're moving it to a park," said Debbie.
Turns out they never really had Sam Boyd Stadium at all. The venue fell through because officials from Sam Boyd say they never got a deposit from Operation Show You Care. But that didn't stop the organization from using the Sam Boyd name.
"When did they have permission to use the Sam Boyd name on any of their paperwork," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"They never did. That's why we asked them to take it off their website," explained Mike Newcomb, Executive Director of Sam Boyd Stadium.
Newcomb says he met with Greg Goodnight, the founder of Operation Show You Care. He says Goodnight talked a good game of big name country superstars who would perform at Troopfest.
"Gretchen Wilson, Jakyll, I think Willie Nelson was mentioned," explained Newcomb.
But he couldn't produce a single signed contract with any of them.
"Kinda fishy," said Newcomb.
With no contracts and no deposit, Newcomb cut ties with Goodnight in late May. Debbie just wants her money back and so do other vendors who have contacted Action News.
"If you're going to put on a venue such as that and it does change the professional way of handling that would be to return all the money," said Debbie.
Action News went to Operation Show You Care's office near Sahara and Maryland to get answers. The space is empty and up for rent, but we tracked down Greg and Jodie Goodnight and they agreed to an interview.
"We were going to have 1,500 troops from Twenty Nine Palms, some people from Nellis Air Force Base committed to doing flyover," said Goodnight.
Goodnight says the second date he's set for Troopfest in August was good to go until the end of July when he had a medical incident.
At one point he told us it was a stroke, then, a heart attack.
"You had a heart attack or stroke or what happened," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Both," said Greg Goodnight.
He volunteered to give Action News his hospital records, which show he was admitted to St. Rose for altered mental status and hallucinations.
"I'm on lots of medication," said Goodnight.
He was forced to move Troopfest a third time to February 2013 at Silver Bowl Park.
He posted pictures of performers on Troopfest's website that included The Country Superstars from the Golden Nugget, from Tennessee Jordan Allena and Chris Heers. But get this, the Golden Nugget tells Action News The Country Superstars are not performing and have no affiliation with Operation Show You Care.
Organization co-founder Jodie Goodnight says she took the performers off their website because of what Action News uncovered.
"But why would you put them up there if they never had a contract," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
Goodnight says they didn't have signed contracts with any of the stars.
"A lot of these people volunteered to do it for the troops," said Greg Goodnight.
Not according to Jordan Allena's agent who says after the event kept getting moved red flags went up and she stopped talking with Greg Goodnight. The same goes for Chris Heers.
As for the Silver Bowl Park the county says that's a no go too. They told Action News Goodnight used the Sliver Bowl name on his website without the county's permission and without a permit for the event. When they missed the deadline for paperwork and payment, the County gave the February dates to someone else.
"I don't really, I don't want it at Silver Bowl. If I have to I'll take it to California," said Greg Goodnight.
One more delay, one more detour and a whole lot more doubt.
"We've got concerns from people we have to try and get that to you and let you talk about it," said Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Can you turn the camera off please," asked Jodie Goodnight.
But Jodie kept talking.
"What do you say to the public who thinks you guys are a scam," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"I have letters, I have many different things to prove them wrong," said Jodie.
"They're just wrong? This is the bottom line," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Yeah, just like saying you're a scam for being on air and that you're a scam for going after people," said Jodie.
"Well I haven't taken anybody's money for an event that didn't happen," said Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Any money that was taken was sent to the troops. Who else do you think deserves it more than the troops," said Jodie.
"The troops got Debbie Resly's money," asked Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.
"Every penny that goes into this organization goes to the troops," said Jodie.
We had a lot more questions and when we started to ask them, something happened.
"That ain't got anything to do with this event, get this [expletive] off me because I'm done with this interview," said Greg Goodnight.
Greg Goodnight promised to refund both vendors we talked to. But that was weeks ago and still neither has seen a dime. As for why he ripped off the mic, more on that as we continue this You Ask. We Investigate. report Tuesday on Action News Live @ 5.