Local

Chatham Women Respond to Fundraising Allegations
Chatham Women Respond to Fundraising Allegations

The two women overseeing a checking account to benefit a Chatham girl with refractory epilepsy are responding to accusations leveled against them.

Tracy McCall and Missy Whitley appeared on WTAX’s Ray Lytle show to explain the separate fund they created for five year old Ava Pellman was to make sure they money raised went to help Ava, and not the Pellman family’s personal expenses.

“[Pellman] became upset and told me there was only $127 in the account and I said ‘Melissa, I told you not to spend that money’,” said McCall. “I needed it for the benefit and she got very upset.”

Ava Pellman, pictured, celebrates her fourth birthday. Photo courtesy "Pray for Ava Pellman" Facebook page
Ava Pellman, pictured, celebrates her fourth birthday. Photo courtesy “Pray for Ava Pellman” Facebook page

The benefit in question was to take place on Sunday at the Springfield Firefighters Club, but was canceled at the last minute. McCall and Whitley told Lytle that Pellman made threats, and both women felt the benefit would have gone badly had it continued. It was to include mouse races, carnival games and other entertainment, which would have cost money.

Whitley said she explained to Pellman those obligations needed to be paid from the checking account before any money could be allocated for medical expenses.

“We can’t pay money out of these accounts until we have the fundraiser done and all the debts are paid off,” Whitley said. “You have to pay for your expenses and you have to see if your being taxed, you have to take that into consideration before you pay out anything.”

Both women say it’s a tragedy the mission of raising money to benefit Ava Pellman has been overshadowed.

To listen to McCall and Whitley’s appearance on Tuesday’s Ray Lytle show, click play on the audio link below.