The woman who launched a GoFundMe page for the homeless Black teen who biked 50-miles from Conyers, Georgia to attend Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia has once again spoken out on the frozen funds. Casey Blaney is clearing the air on the “current narrative being pushed” about why the account has not been turned over to the Fred Barley so it can be placed in a trust by the 19-year-old’s attorney.
In a lengthy July 30 message in the Success For Fred Facebook group, Blaney explains she was first contacted by a lawyer representing Barely two days earlier.
“It is virtually impossible to turn funds over to trust personnel and/or attorneys that, to the best of our knowledge, have never existed until day before yesterday,” she wrote. “Repeated attempts were made to Mr. Barley to have his trust team and attorney contact us, if in fact, they existed.”
She adds Barely was contacted by a third party, which could connect him to former professional athletes to help him “navigate his new-found notoriety.”
“After speaking with this third-party, Fred and I both agreed that it would be in his best interest to allow one of these individuals to guide him and help him assist him with the donations from the GoFundMe campaign,” Blaney said.
However, the third party questioned Barley’s behaviors – actions the campaign creator did not elaborate on – and pulled the athletes away from the campaign. The fundraiser was once again in her hands.
Blaney continued setting up an educational trust, which she says was “the plan that all parties had agreed upon from the start of the campaign.” The Barnesville woman also addresses Barley’s post mentioning he would not put his money in a trust unless he chose it with his own trustee and lawyer.
“This obviously tied my hands and the hands of any willing trust attorney,” Blaney shared. “Since the professional athletes that previously agreed to assist in this were no longer involved and no trust attorney representing Mr. Fred Barley had yet contacted us, on behalf of Fred, these events had placed me, as the GoFundMe campaign organizer with this responsibility.”
Blaney adds she set up the GoFundMe account under the “education/educational purposes” category.
“There are legal parameters inherent to that and I am required to follow those; they are a shaping force that dictates how we are to proceed,” she wrote. “I have never, and have no intentions of ever being listed on, or in control of the educational trust. Hopefully, within the next few days, we will receive an initial proposal from Mr. Fred Barley’s attorney, to create a trust. That is our understanding of the next step.”
Blaney emphasizes the funds will not be given to her should the website decide to release the donations to a trust.
After controversy erupted over the freeze, a Change.org petition was launched to have the GoFundMe monies released to Barley. More than 16,000 people signed since it began July 28. The goal is 25,000 signatures.
Barley has remained silent on Blaney’s latest update since stating he will continue to “love her and forgive her” last week. He has continued to receive notes of support and told his Facebook friends he used them to decorate his new dorm room at Gordon State.
After sharing the original story reported by Atlanta Black Star, crowd funding platform Urban Fundr announced it has set up a fund for the college student. All funds will go directly to Barley.