An online fund for a Canisius College student whose parents cut off financial support upon learning she’s gay grew by $20,000 in a day, following a story in The Buffalo News about her plight.
The GoFundMe campaign for Canisius sophomore Emily Scheck of Webster, Monroe County, raised more than $55,000 by early Sunday evening — an outpouring of support that also included some donors extending invitations for Scheck to stay in their homes.
An Amherst woman donated $20 and invited Scheck to spend Thanksgiving with her. And the chief executive officer of a company with a Rochester office gave $200 and encouraged Scheck, a marketing major, to reach out to him when she’s looking for an internship or a job.
Scheck did not respond to messages from The News Saturday seeking comment on the continued giving and groundswell of support.
Scheck, 19, told The News this week that her parents cut ties with her after they found out in August that she’s in a relationship with a woman. Scheck, a sophomore, receives a partial scholarship as a Division I cross-country and track athlete at Canisius. Her parents wanted her to give up the scholarship, return to her home in a Rochester suburb and go to counseling, according to Scheck.
Scheck refused and decided to stay at Canisius, but was struggling to make ends meet.
Scheck's father said there is more to the story than Scheck is sharing. He also said her family loves Scheck and accepts her sexual orientation.
Sheck's roommate, Grace Hausladen, started the online campaign Nov. 7, and money quickly poured in. But when the college alerted the NCAA about the campaign, the NCAA initially warned Scheck that she would have to return the donations if she wanted to remain on the college’s cross-country team.
The NCAA on Friday changed course and said Scheck could retain her eligibility to play sports with the GoFundMe page active.
The GoFundMe page for Scheck was shared more than 6,300 times and generated 1,179 donations by Saturday evening. Gift amounts ranged from $5 to $1,000.