Elsewhere online
December 18, 2014

Questions Surround Young Philanthropist on L.A. Scene

The Los Angeles Times writes about Sean Lourdes, a 32-year-old Angeleno who has built a high philanthropic profile and hobnobbed with celebrities while backing unrealized charity endeavors and failing to pay vendors.

A Los Angeles native and self-described "third-generation heir" of a well-to-do publishing family, Mr. Lourdes returned to the city in 2009 after living abroad for many years and established the Lourdes Foundation, which aims to provide mentors for needy youth. While his social media feeds regularly feature photos of him with stars and leading politicians at charity events, Mr. Lourdes' own philanthropic endeavors have a spotty record, according to the the Times.

He was invited to join the board of the Getty House Foundation, which maintains the L.A. mayor's official residence, but did not make the donation required of members and no longer holds a seat. Partnerships with the California Institute of Arts and the L.A. Unified School District, which the foundation touts on its website, have not materialized, and vendors say they are still owed money for two events Mr. Lourdes staged last winter for the visiting Dalai Lama.

Mr. Lourdes attributes his problems to inexperience. He acknowledged running short of funds and said his focus on the Dalai Lama events forced him to postpone other promised donations and projects. He said he is working to fulfill the pledges and pay off vendors and people who loaned him money for the events.