If you're a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, there's a very good chance that you've heard of the Viking World Order. They're a pretty sizeable group of fans with an even larger following. They even undertake charitable efforts to help their fellow Vikings fans in times of need.
Unfortunately, it appears that a less-than-worthy individual. . .to put it as politely as I can in a family-friendly environment. . .took advantage of the VWO's kindness in a major way.
A woman by the name of Margaret Jean Brezina called the VWO a couple of years ago and told the group that she had terminal brain cancer. They wanted to help her out, and wound up raising in excess of $20,000 for her through various avenues. They also managed to get her front row seats and field access for a game between the Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. But, members of the group began to think that something was amiss.
Eventually, David Garza, vice-president of Viking World Order, asked for proof. Brezina simply texted him a brain scan with a picture cropped from Google Images.
"I didn't want to say this person is faking, but I wish I would have," Garza said.
Brezina is an Edina High School graduate currently living in Ft. Lauderdale. She has a rap sheet in both Florida and Minnesota for theft and fraud, and a half-dozen aliases. She also allegedly told the same cancer story to a Miami Dolphin fan group.
Vikings fans are, by and large, pretty damn good people, and this is an illustration of that. Sadly, there are people out there that are always looking to take advantage of the kindness of strangers, and that's exactly what it appears that Margaret Jean Brezina has done.
To their credit, the VWO has said that they aren't going to stop what they're doing in terms of charity work, but they are going to be a whole lot more careful about vetting people going forward. Unfortunately, that seems to be just about the only recourse they have at this point.
Generally, people like Brezina continue on with their scams until they manage to cross the wrong person and end up in front of a judge. With any luck, this woman's day with that experience will come sooner rather than later.