Lily Peters and GoFundMe
Whether you were a fan of the television show “Little House on the Prairie” or not, you may have heard about the story of 10-year-old Liliana “Lily” Peters. She went to visit her aunt on Sunday, and was not seen or heard from the following day. Her body was found about 9:15 a.m. on Monday in the woods near a walking trail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She was a fourth grader at Parkview Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, and was living with her father, Alexander Peters, and aunt, Jennifer Eyerly.
Although there are several suspects, a 14-year-old boy was nabbed on the scene. He was charged with first-degree sexual assault, and the initial court appearance is set for Wednesday. In addition, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office seized Lily’s bicycle. The bike was recovered after about an hour of tussling. A few weeks ago, Chippewa Falls police announced a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspected killer.
While the tidbit was the name of the fabled (or is it fabled?) culprit, the real meat of the story is what led to his arrest. What we know for sure is that a teen was in the vicinity of Lily’s residence at around the time of the murder, and he was accompanied by another teen who confessed to being the perpetrator. This second suspect threw a large stick at the girl, causing her to fall. This led to a bit of a scuffle, which in turn led to a bloody handprint on her forehead. It wasn’t until the next day, that Lily’s corpse was finally unearthed and taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota.
While the GoFundMe has offices in San Diego and Dublin, California, the organization has operations across the country and abroad, including in Europe. The website has a wholly owned subsidiary, Classy, which is a non-profit donation site. Founders Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester started the site in 2010 to help raise money for local charities. They are based in Redwood City, California, and have offices in San Diego and Dublin, respectively. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
The GoFundMe – and its cousin, the Classy – is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that operates in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. While the company has operations in multiple countries, it is still registered as a Wisconsin based non-profit organization. The site is a hit with its followers, many of whom are children in need of financial support. The aforementioned “Tea for Lily” fundraiser helped raise more than $18,000. In addition to the donations, a spaghetti lunch fundraiser was held at Agnes’ Table, a local food pantry in downtown Chippewa Falls. The proceeds will be used for counseling at the RCU, as well as to provide assistance to the family of the victim.