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GoFundMe withholds donations earmarked for injured mountain biker after campaign garners complaints
GoFundMe campaign for injured mountain biker Stelios Psaroudakis (GoFundMe)
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:49PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:50PM MDT
A spokesperson with GoFundMe confirms the organizer of a crowdfunding effort prematurely ended the campaign and the organization is investigating the matter.
On July 7, 2017, a GoFundMe fundraiser was started by a user named Stelios Psaroudakis to raise money for Stelios Psaroudakis. According to the campaign, Psaroudakis was injured while mountain biking in Bragg Creek, The 37-year-old cyclist was struck in the neck by a piece of barbed wire that had been attached between two trees across the trail. The fundraising goal was originally set at $8,000 to help the injured biker replace his bike that was allegedly left on the trail after the incident and had been removed before someone went to retrieve it.
The Cochrane RCMP detachment is investigating the trail incident and is asking for help from the public in locating Psaroudakis' bike.
The fundraising initiative had raised more than $850 when it was abruptly stopped.
Rachel Hollis, GoFundMe spokesperson, released the following statement on Wednesday regarding the 'Almost died on trail by barbed wire' campaign:
“We can confirm that the organizer has removed the campaign and that we are looking into this. When a campaign receives complaints, as in this case, we place the funds on hold until additional information is provided by the campaign organizer. We've reached out to the campaign organizer for this additional information.
It’s important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that we guarantee the money goes to the right place. In the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected and will get their money back.”
The nature of the complaints has not been released.
CTV Calgary’s attempts to contact Psaroudakis following the removal of the GoFundMe page have not elicited a response.