Former public relations firm sues Edgartown Library Foundation

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File photo by Susan Safford

Holiday Public Relations, a Houston company formerly retained by the Edgartown Library Foundation to assist with the library’s fundraising campaigns and public relations needs, has filed suit against the foundation and three of its board members. The suit was filed on Friday, December 2, in federal District Court in Boston.

The foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that raises money for the Edgartown Library.

From 2008 to 2011, Danielle Pendergraft, a director of Holiday, worked under contract for the foundation. Ms. Pendergraft is a former Houston resident who previously divided her time between Texas and Edgartown where she now lives.

In July of 2011, after strained relations with Ms. Pendergraft and public criticism of the foundation’s fundraising efforts, the foundation terminated its relationship with Ms. Pendergraft.

The lawsuit alleges the foundation damaged the public relations firm, infringed on its copyright, and used unfair and deceptive trade practices, in particular by using the slogan “Frankly, we love our library,” and similar terms in fundraising efforts, after it terminated its contract with Holiday.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to prohibit the Edgartown Library Foundation from using the slogans, and pay triple damages as well as attorneys fees.

Named individually in the lawsuit are foundation president Susan Cahoon, and board members Anne Vose and Heather Cohan. Also named is Melissa Aldeborgh, a graphic designer who did work on the fundraising campaigns.

Correction: In the paragraph that said the lawsuit asks the federal court to prohibit the Edgartown Library Foundation from using the slogans, and pay triple damages as well as attorneys fees the print version incorrectly referenced the Edgartown Library which is not a target of the lawsuit.