Child's Charity Fund Caught in Family Feud

10-14-05 - A young girl suffering from a serious illness is caught in a family dispute, and it's costing her thousands of dollars raised in her name.

Three-year-old Briannon Cleveland was diagnosed last April with neuroblastoma. Tumors appeared on her skull, chest and neck, and also in her bone marrow.

But the community came together to help. On August 27, a spaghetti benefit dinner at the Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Gainesville was held to raise money to help her family. But while over $3000 was raised, the family says they've seen hardly any of it.

The benefit was setup by a relative who opened up a fund for Briannon Cleveland at the First State Bank. However, regulations say only the name on the account is allowed to make transactions. And that has left little Briannon in the middle of a family squabble.

The Cleveland’s say they have received only a third of the money that was raised due to concerns on how the money should be spent. Constant trips to the doctor's office have left them in a bind. They are without phone service and are struggling to pay bills they thought they would be getting help with. And while the main hang-up focuses on how and when the money should be spent, the Cleveland’s say right now, none of it is being used for its true purpose, helping their daughter in a time of need.

We contacted the relative who opened the account, but our phone calls were not returned. The First State Bank says they have a responsibility to the account holder.