Thursday, March 17, 2011

Silent auction raises nearly $500 for Sunshine Fund to defend open government

FOI Oklahoma's silent auction raised nearly $500 for its Sunshine Fund to defend open government, said Bryan Dean, the organization's president.

The auction, held during the Sunshine Week Conference on Saturday in Oklahoma City, was the non-profit's first such attempt to raise money for the fund.

"Not bad for a first effort," said Dean, a reporter for The Oklahoman. "Next year, it will be bigger and better, so save up your money now."

In January, FOI Oklahoma awarded its first $1,000 grant from the fund to help support the costs of an Open Meeting Act lawsuit filed by non-journalists.

Through grants to plaintiffs and by initiating its own lawsuits, the organization hopes to discourage "obvious and egregious" violations of the state's Open Meeting and Open Records laws.

Donations to the Sunshine Fund also can be mailed to 215 E. Sixth St., Edmond, OK 73034. Please make checks payable to FOI Oklahoma Inc. but note that the donation is for the Sunshine Fund.

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