Sometimes the best of intentions can go awry and when they do, everyone loses out.
And that, to me, seems to be exactly what happened after Ozzie Grandinetti, a former Sault city councillor and former mayoral candidate, organized a GoFundMe in support of the victims of the October 23 mass murder in the Sault.
SooToday reported last week that Grandinetti had closed the GoFundMe and asked that the $18,000 raised be returned to donors, the move coming about as a result of complaints about how he planned to dole out the money to cover funeral expenses that was to be split between two families.
In a killing spree that shook the residents of this city, Bobbie Hallaert shot to death his ex-girlfriend, Angie Sweeney, and followed up by killing his three children, Abbie, 12, Ally, 7 and Nate, 6. Hallaert’s estranged wife, Kim Rose, was also shot but survived.
Hallaert then died by his own hand.
Grandinetti had recently announced on his Facebook page that the money raised was to be split with 75 percent going to the family of the three children who were killed and the remaining 25 percent going to the family of Sweeney.
This apparently didn’t sit well with some people.
According to the SooToday story, multiple postings on the Angie’s Angels Facebook group, which was set up in memory of Sweeney, say they contributed to the GoFundMe thinking the money was going to be split 50/50 between the two families.
Grandinetti acknowledged he had received a number of calls and Facebook posts from people criticizing him for not splitting up the funds 50/50 and one in particular led to his decision to shut down the GoFundMe.
“I’m not going to get into it but I am sure we all know who it is and I know the circumstances are shitty, but the money was for funeral and not for people’s education,” said Grandinetti. “I have recorded conversations that aren’t good on the other end, which are not good at all — not towards me, it’s a black eye for one family.”
“It’s an embarrassment to that family, that’s all I am going to say,” he added. “It’s sad that it’s come to this. You try to do something good for people and it ends up like this.”
My point in this exactly.
Why would anyone complain about the 75-25 split? In one family one died, resulting in one funeral expense. In the other, three died, resulting, of course, in higher funeral expenses, even if they were given a group or family rate, if there is such a thing.
As Grandinetti pointed out, the funds raised were intended to cover funeral expenses of the victims, not simply to go into the general revenue of family members.
I find it appalling that some family members and obviously some others would come up with complaints about how the money, raised by someone else for the benefit of two grieving families, would be split.
As far as I am concerned, Grandinetti’s heart was in the right place when he organized the GoFundMe and I also believe that the way he planned to split the funds, considering the numbers involved, was the way to go.
Some may say the resulting controversy is a sad commentary on our city but I am not one of them. I know there are the selfish among us but they are the exception rather than the rule.
In regard to this city as a whole, we are better than that.