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Mom: Stop Using Jorelys' Image

The organizer of a run that was billed as a fundraiser in memory of Jorelys Rivera has been asked to stop using the 7-year-old Canton girl's likeness.

Two Saturdays ago, to raise money in honor of Jorelys Rivera, the  first-grader who was abducted and killed in December.

While the girl's aunt was among those present, Jorelys' mother was not at  that rainy morning in April.

And now, her lawyer is asking the organizer of the run to stop using Jorelys' image in the future.

Attorney Lloyd Bell of Atlanta said Friday that Joselinne Rivera allowed organizers of the  to use her daughter's likeness "with the understanding that the money would go to (Jorelys') school for child safety programs and for a beneficial purpose.

"We tried to confirm if that was the case and were not able to confirm that that was indeed what was going to happen with the money," he said. 

Friday night, run organizer Shanonn Hale referred questions to Rob Goldsmith, who she hired to put on the Run for Joreyls 5K and Fun Run. Goldsmith's organization, FundRacers of Lawrenceville, coordinates logistics for 5K fundraisers, mainly for nonprofits and schools.

"I basically was in charge of the ins and outs of the physical race itself," he said. "She dealt with all the discussions with Jorelys' mom. I've never spoken to her, never exchanged an email with her. Don't know anything. I can just tell you what I know Shanonn has told me."

Previously, Hale told Canton-Sixes Patch that she wanted to raise money for radKIDS, a child safety program. Because  already was established, she said she turned her efforts toward Revved Up Kids in Alpharetta, a 3-hour class focused on abduction prevention. Hale's goal was to reach as many kids as possible. The first Revved Up Kids classes in Canton are scheduled for June 22 and 23.

"We want to ... empower them to take care of themselves," she told Canton-Sixes Patch two weeks ago. "I’d like to bring the classes to every school in Georgia."

That was news to Bell.

"We did not get assurances exactly where the money was going," he said. "We asked for an accounting of where the money was going and that was denied."

Rather than press the issue at a time when Rivera is in the midst of , the apartment community where maintenance man killed her daughter, Bell sent a letter that asked Hale to stop using Jorelys' image in the future.

"We just didn't have confidence and certainty that the money being raised in Jorelys' name was indeed going to the causes that it should," he said. "Ms. Rivera is going to be mourning and grieving the rest of her life. We're involved in litigation and we just thought it best to focus on getting justice for Jorelys and helping her family move forward from this tragedy. That's how we approached it."

Goldsmith said the April 21 run brought in $4,200.

"I'm writing a check directly to Revved Up Kids," he said.

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