It was recently discovered that the two women who bid on the dinner with Howie which was auctioned off at the Lupus2000 fundraiser recently held at The Grove in Orlando, FL to raise monies for the Caroline Dorough-Cochran Memorial Lupus Foundation backed out of the bid when approached for payment with the following words - to Howie himself no less - "I hope you won't hold us to it, it was a joke," giggling the entire time. This information comes from a reliable source, which can be provided upon request.

As a human being, to say that I was shocked and appalled is an understatement. What kind of person would do such a thing? This fundraiser was for charity.

I feel secure in assuming that those two women were Backstreet Boys fans. As a Backstreet Boys fan myself, I was sickened. How could a BSB fan do this RIGHT TO HOWIE'S FACE? The BSB fans that are unaware of what this charity means to Howie are few and far between. For those that don't know, this charity was named after Howie's sister who passed away in 1998 due to Lupus.

Because of this "joke", that charity lost $31,000. Because of those two women, it's a safe bet that Howie lost some faith in humanity - and his fans. I, for one, don't want the despicable actions of two fans to reflect poorly on me.

Not only did these women figuratively spit in Howie's face, they spit on the memory of his sister and they laughed in the face of every man, woman, and child currently living with Lupus and its affects.

I, for one, won't stand for that. I ask; no, I beg all of you reading this to look into your hearts. More importantly, look into your wallets. That charity needs to recoup $31,000 and I'm calling on each and every one of you to donate whatever you can to the charity.

I have a few requests to go along with your donation:

1) I ask that you include a small note with your donation, simply saying "I heard about the recent events surrounding the Lupus2000 Fundraiser. Please accept the enclosed to help recoup any losses. Sincerely - An Angel for Caroline" - so that the foundation will know that this is an organized effort.

2) I ask that you please send a money order or cashier's check. Please do NOT send a personal or business check, or cash. Why? See #3 Also, when you sign the money order, please sign "Caroline Dorough" or sign your own name illegibly. Please enter the address of the charity where it says "Sender's address."

3) I ask that this donation be made anonymously. It is my hope that this effort is done 100% anonymously - to show Howie and his family the true meaning of charity and humanity. That the right and honorable thing is being done for its own sake and not for any personal gain.

4) I ask that you send whatever you can - immediately or as soon as you conveniently can.

Please feel free to cut and paste this entire message and post it on your website, should you have one. Please help me spread the word to every site you know of, every newsletter, every message board so that this charity can make back the money that was "jokingly" bid. Print this out and fax it to your local radio station, newspaper, tv station. I would also like to add that you should feel free to forward this to anyone and everyone. Lupus is not exclusive to BSB fans. My only request, should you choose to place this on your site, is that you not claim ownership. The goal is for "Operation: An Angel for Caroline" to be an entirely anonymous endeavor.

Please make your donations payable to the following and send them to the address listed below:

The Caroline Dorough-Cochran Memorial Lupus Foundation

4610 Limpscomb Street NE, Suite #2

Palm Bay, FL 32905