April 2009

The company had first filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in mid-January. A notice on the Varsity Gold website stated that the problems stemmed from unrelated investments and that the fundraising business remained strong and growing. However, in a March 5 email to PTO Today, vice president of marketing Chuck Moxley wrote, “Regrettably, we had to take a more drastic course yesterday, and the company shut down operations rather suddenly.” The entire staff was laid off at that time, according to Moxley.

Also on March 5, the company’s bankruptcy filing was transferred to Chapter 7, which calls for company assets to be liquidated and distributed among creditors.

Because the company collected payments after products were delivered, the effect on parent groups should be minimized. If your group has an unfilled order, contact your local sales representative. Several local reps for Varsity Gold indicated that they hoped to deliver on existing orders if possible.

Varsity Gold was the most high-profile of a host of companies offering discount cards as a fundraising option. Varsity Gold cards, like those from other companies and even those that some PTOs create themselves, would be filled with 10 or 20 exclusive discounts from local retailers and be sold by fundraising groups to local parents and supporters. The company also offered cookie dough and magazine fundraisers.