La Grange Nonprofit To Face Protest Amid Allegations

July 11, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

LA GRANGE, IL – A demonstration is expected Thursday during the board meeting for LeaderShop, a La Grange nonprofit group that is undergoing turmoil.

On Wednesday afternoon, the LeaderShop Alumni Association announced it was holding a “peaceful rally” to call for a change in LeaderShop’s leadership.

The demonstration is set for 5:30 p.m. in the LeaderShop parking lot at the Park District of La Grange’s building at 4903 Willow Springs Road. The association said the protest would consist of volunteers, previous staff members, donors and others. Members are inviting the public to take part.

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LeaderShop, which provides leadership opportunities for youth, recently lost a grant that made up more than 40 percent of its budget. That is resulting in layoffs.

The grant was from the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission. The agency alleged LeaderShop’s longtime executive director, Alan Morales, sexually harassed commission officials during the group’s holiday party in December.

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The association’s statement listed Candice Mares as the contact person. She is a longtime volunteer for LeaderShop, formerly the Community Extension Project. She got in contact with the program in 1997, when she was in seventh grade.

Morales plans to leave LeaderShop in September.

The association said it issued a demand letter July 1 in light of LeaderShop’s issues. It said its alternative plan was initially denied, despite claims from LeaderShop that it wants to work with the association in a “collaborative fashion,” according to the alumni statement.

“The alleged misconduct and lack of transparency during the investigative process has led to a loss of confidence in the credibility of The LeaderShop’s leadership,” the statement said.

Morales and LeaderShop’s president, Linn Meyer, couldn’t be reached for immediate comment Wednesday afternoon.

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