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Has fund-raising for the Maggie Walker statue become a game?

Astrological Chances

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For weeks, the organizers of a proposed monument to pioneering black entrepreneur Maggie Walker have been saying they had an unnamed corporate sponsor who had pledged at least $100,000 of the statue's $250,000 budget.

City Council promised to give the group land. Internationally famous sculptors such as Tina Allen, who sculpted the Alex Haley monument in Knoxville, Tenn., submitted an application to create the Walker statue and is one of the four finalists.

But it may take a while to get that $100,000. Last week, the fund-raising group's managing director, Alfred "Doug" Goodwein, announced that the corporate sponsor was H. Clayton Moore, a local man who markets an obscure New Age board game called "Cosmic Journey" that teaches about angels, karma and reincarnation.

Moore pledged to donate $100,000 from net profits of sales of his board games, Goodwein says, adding that it would take Moore "45 to 60 days" to raise that much.

However, according to the Henrico County Department of Finance, Moore's board-game company, Cosmic Journey Publishing, has never grossed as much as $100,000 a year since it was established in 1995. (To encourage small-business growth, Henrico exempts businesses that gross less than $100,000 a year from paying a business-license tax. Cosmic Journey has always been exempted.)

Furthermore, the company lists its business address as Suite 244 at 7109 Staples Mill Road, a space that Goodwein describes as "a small office." In fact, it's a mail drop at a Mailboxes, Etc. in a strip mall.

A clerk at the area's most prominent New Age shop, the Aquarian Book Store in Carytown, says the store has a copy of Moore's board game. It's been in the same spot for the last two years without a buyer.

Moore says he sells "several thousand" of the games around the United States each year. He also says he will donate about $15 to the Walker statue from the net profits of each of the $29.99 games he sells. However, that would mean selling nearly 7,000 games and grossing more than $200,000.

Can he do that in 60 days when he's never grossed more than $100,000 in a year?

Moore acknowledges it will take longer, maybe six months, he says. How's that? Because Goodwein is going to link national marketing of the statue's fund-raising efforts to Moore's board game, both men say.

In the meantime, Goodwein is backing off his previous endorsements of the $100,000 contribution, saying it is "above and beyond" the group's fund-raising plan and that the statue "does not even depend on this particular source of fund-raising."

City Councilman Bill Johnson, who spearheaded the Walker statue effort initially, says that Council didn't donate the land because of the promised $100,000 contribution, but because the statue needs to be built. He says he's still confident the statue will be built and enough money will be raised in time to unveil it in October 2000 as planned.

Goodwein says he believes Moore will "pull it off." And even if Moore doesn't and raises only "$5,000 or $10,000" in the same time, Goodwein says, "that's still money that's being

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