Updated Report on Baron Koppel's Situation

Gentlefolk associated with assisting Baron Koppel, a distinguished SCAdian who has run into modern-world problems recently, have provided updates with some good news about his situation. Aleksandr called the Traveller writes:

Here's further news on Baron Koppel, KSCA (4th made in the East), OP, Alphabet Soup

The good news is Koppel is home despite the Florida judicial system, thanks to fellow members of the Society who love him. The bad news is money will still be an issue for some time, for there are some things SSI, Medicare, Medicaid etc. do not cover.

The dedicated trust, which cannot pay for anything except his immediate living expenses and non-covered medical costs, is:

Kenneth Levinson Assistance Fund
Bank of America
4901 N. Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308-4692

Editor's note: Please see below for further instructions about donating to this fund.

If you have ever suffered depression, or seen it in a friend, you know exactly what's going on. Koppel is one of those guys who, when he gets depressed, just stops doing what he has to do to live, and pulls into himself. Florida police seized him more than a month ago for not taking his brother's calls and not cleaning up after himself. The state plan was to sell his home, his library built up over his years as a medievalist and herald extraordinare, his car, everything he knew of as his surroundings, to support his "care" in a tiny room.

Well, he's out now, still in need of some cash, but in the hands of those who love him the most. Please e-mail me at aleksandr@razler.net , call me at 631-226-4693, or call Sanchia/Bev - sanchia@gate.net - 7440 NW 21st St,Sunrise, FL 33313-3825. 954-746-7346, for someone 'on the ground'.

I am trying to do what I can do from NY, which is making an attempt to have some kind of fundraiser set up at Pennsic and could use someone who can turn out embroidered or cast tokens, authorized by Koppel. (a warning to moldmakers, his heraldry is COMPLICATED!!!)

In addition, THL Sanchia the Sly, who has been involved with assisting Koppel for several months, has written the following update:

The state had scheduled Koppel's status hearing for July 23. The case investigator, whom I now suspect of duplicity after I caught him in at least two lies, even made a point of telling us the date, time and location of the hearing. We naturally counted on it in making our preparations. We even arranged for a couple experts in social care to attend the hearing and offer counter testimony as to Koppel's state of mind.

Tuesday night, while I was still coming down off a terrible migraine, Koppel called me with alarming news. His court-appointed attorney had come by that day to tell him that the status hearing had been pushed up to the 9th. It was less than 24-hours notice for him, and even less for us. I hate to turn into a Mel Gibson conspiracy theorist, but I find it suspicious that the hearing would have been moved up like that without a word to any of us, even though they know where to contact us. I can think of two DCF officials in particular who have opposed our efforts to get him released, and who I think would have been happy to see him at the hearing alone and unfriended.

Koppel had expected me to visit Tuesday night, as indeed I had promised, and was really alarmed when I never showed up. Fortunately he was able to get me on the phone before "lock-down". And I immediately got out of bed and started making calls.

So this morning, when the social worker showed up to take him to the hearing, I saw her face harden a second as she saw me standing there beside him with two other determined looking women right behind us. After that she was just business-like and accepting of the situation. Elizabeth, Gwalchrhi and I were joined at the courthouse by Rhiannon and our own lawyer, Mitch Silverman.

At the hearing, almost everything went our way. The court-appointed attorney agreed to turn the case over to Mitch. The court master (something like a judge) questioned us about our willingness to take care of Koppel and agreed he would be better off with his friends. The DCF attorney did not oppose us, although she wants continued monitoring of the situation and background checks on us.

For at least a month, until the next status hearing, Koppel will need to be with one of us at all time - so he's not technically free - and there will be random visits to make sure that he's not being left alone. It's insulting, but it's still better than Rose Manor. And at the end of the month, there will be another hearing to determine if he needs continued monitoring from the state.

We still have a lot of work cut out for us - we're still cleaning his home and I have to develop a financial plan that will include the big expenses like taxes. Koppel is going to have to help. There are economies that he will have to agree to. And as I slyly mentioned on our way to a victory lunch: "Good, now YOU can help clean up your bedroom!"

Editor's note: Lady Sanchia sent an email to us at SCAtoday.net, advising that the bank is charging a substantial (about $20) fee for accepting checks by mail without a deposit slip for that bank. She has asked us to mention in this article that donations can also be sent to her address:

Bev Kaufman
7440 NW 21st St.
Sunrise, FL 33312
For your protection and peace of mind, write on the back of the check: "For deposit only in Kenneth Levinson Assistance Fund."

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Just a thought...

But it occurred to me that the SCA is getting bigger, and some of our members are starting to get to retirement age. Would it be practical, or feasible, to do like the Elks clubs or the Moose Lodges and try and put some sort of retirement fund option together? I realize that it would be a complex undertaking, involving investments, and accountants, and all kinds of modern-world things we usually would rather not get into, but I hate to see this sort of thing happen to someone, and after all, we're all going to be old someday.

My 2 cents,

Gwenhwyvar Telynores