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Skepticism causes organizer to remove GoFundMe for Okotoks man critically injured in crash

The GoFundMe launched last week for Rob Sholter, which received overwhelming support, has been ended due to some negative reception from community members.
Forty-four-year-old tow truck driver Rob Sholter is still in critical condition after crashing into a truck on Feb. 1. He has gone through the first of several surgeries.

The online fundraiser for an Okotoks man in critical condition has been ended by its organizer after community backlash.

The GoFundMe was launched on Feb. 1, the same day that Rob Sholter, 44, crashed into a truck on Highway 2 north of Okotoks.

Stephanie Kelly, who organized the GoFundMe, said the fundraiser was a success financially but was the subject of some negative reception and skepticism.

"I'm a little bit frustrated because there's accusations that the family is just looking to make money off this," said Kelly. "They didn't even know I was doing it. I didn't even tell them, so I'm not sure how that could be possible."

The page raised $6,550 after setting a fundraising goal of $3,500.

"I think we could have pushed it to [$10,000]," said Kelly. "We could have easily had at least six months rent paid, but there's some people who are jealous out there.

"I'm positive we could have reached into the tens because Rob is such a pillar in this community, like, he's just so well known."

Kelly, Sholter's neighbour and close friend, is grateful for the overwhelming support the family received but is unhappy with the reaction of some community members.

"I'm disgusted," she said. "Like, this was literally not something they asked for. This is a very humble family who just never asked for help. They're the one that always helps our community and the one time that we are able to help them, I have to shut it down because somebody's jealous that they're receiving money.

"It's just so frustrating, because how would these people feel? Their concern would not be a cash grab if their significant other was hanging on for life, right?"

Sholter is still in critical condition after the accident, and is awaiting surgery for internal bleeding and broken limbs.

"The pin popped out during his surgery or after his surgery for his pelvis," said Kelly. "So, unfortunately, the second surgery, they're not moving ahead right now because the surgery is focusing only on his pelvis.

"He's doing OK, but just a lot of complications, unfortunately... It's not good. It is a question of how well he makes it through these surgeries."

Kelly, who works as an auto claims adjuster, said she knows firsthand how difficult the ongoing insurance process can be.

"I know that they are working with their insurance company now, but I'm in insurance and I know how long that takes," she said. "So it's going to be weeks and weeks to months. They have to bring in an engineer to reconstruct the accident.

"It's really complicated and it's a long, long process for them to figure out how this happened and what kind of compensation he'll be receiving."

Kelly said even though the GoFundMe has ended, the family is still in need.

"They have to pay rent and he's the main breadwinner, right?"

Amir Said

About the Author: Amir Said

Amir Said is a reporter and photographer with the Western Wheel.
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