Ride The Ducks Coleman Family Deaths Five Gofundme – Five Gofundme accounts (see video playlist below) were started for the Coleman family after a thunderstorm on Thursday, July 19, 2018, sank a Ride The Ducks boat cruising on Table Rock Lake, in Missouri.
While we agree this was a horrific tragedy, the drama created by these thirteen charity requests from a wide range of people living in a half dozen states has put a dark cloud over what was a public response to this family’s outreach for assistance.
The first Gofundme account was started by Kate Norris Bragg from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 20, 2018 – It has raised $723,440. The post says, “Eleven Coleman family members went on a family vacation when a horrible boating accident killed nine family members, including Tia’s husband Glenn, their three children Reece, Evan and Arya. This page is to Support Tia Coleman.”
The second Gofundme was started on July 20 by Jake Query on behalf of Leeta Bigbee, sister of Tia Coleman – It has raised $3125. The post states, “Nine members of the Coleman family (some pictured) of Indianapolis were tragically lost in a recent Branson, MO. boat accident. As an Indianapolis media member and radio host, I have always felt it important to use said platform as a voice for others when prudent. Since starting this campaign, I have become aware of a campaign started directly by the family. I will leave this campaign going for one week due to response on social media. I have designated Leeta Bigbee, sister of accident survivor Tia Coleman, as the campaign beneficiary to allocate money as needed by Tia and her family. The family belongs to Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Church. This is the greatest city with the greatest people, and I hope we can come together to help a family of our own.”
The Third Gofundme was also started on July 20 by Jennifer Tharpe on behalf of Gary Coleman Memorials DULUTH, GA – It has raised $76,572. The post says, “My name is Jennifer Tharpe I have created this campaign for my stepdad Gary Coleman. Gary is the brother of Butch and Ray Coleman. Butch and Belinda (wife) are the parents of Glen and Angela. Glen is Tia’s husband. Gary and wife Carolyn Tharpe- Coleman live here in Georgia. We are raising funds for funeral expenses of the 9 family members who have passed. Financial Support is much needed for the memorial of this well known family in the Indianapolis community. The family was on vacation at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri. A storm came through and capsized the tourist boat the family was on. All 11 family members (pictured) were on the boat and 9 family members perished. Tia Coleman and nephew Donavon Coleman are the only surviving family members from the accident.”
The Fourth Gofundme was started on July 21 by an unknown person – It has raised $1,642. The post states, “Help us reach $100,000.00 by donating any amount you can. All of the proceeds will go to Tia Coleman, the survivor from the tragic duck boat incident in Branson, MO that resulted in the deaths of 9 members of her family. We are requesting monetary donations from the leaders of this great city of Indianapolis including the Colts, Pacers, Defenders and anyone else with the heart to give. Please share and help us reach our goal. #TiaStrong.
The fifth Gofundme was deleted. But, confusion and chaos still plague this family long after the storm changed survivor lives.
On the fourth anonymous page, there are several troubling posts – Tisha Renee pasted, “How do we know which Go Fund me to donate to? There are several out there and I hope people aren’t trying to scam from this tragedy. I donated to the Official one which is over $700K. I suggest everyone does the same.
A second post by Brett Schaedler states, “DO NOT CONTRIBUTE to this fund, this is someone trying to make a quick buck of someone’s tragedy. There is only one official fund for the family, contribute to that one, its the obvious one.”
Another poster Freeda Mcphale says, “This page doesn’t say who is running it. Why ask for professionals? Also the news told us which page was the right page. It starts with The Official….please research before donating to this link.
Another poster Judy Trammell Brown states,”How do we know Tia Coleman is receiving this money. Confused about which account is for her”
Another post by Mark God’Son Thomas says, “Apologies for any confusion. Please feel free to donate to the campaign by Leeta Bigbee. This campaign was created to alleviate some burden off of the family while they support Tia. All of the proceeds from this campaign will definitely be forwarded to Leeta Bigbee’ s campaign for Tia. Thank you all for you giving hearts, may God abundantly bless you!”
Finally, yet another post by Heather Ottaviano-Hankins states, “There are numerous pages for this family. Please have legitame page verified. This is why there are few donations. Whoever is trying to profit off of this tragedy should be going straight to hell!! I would love to donate but not until this is straightened out.”
- Ride The Duck Branson
- Weather Wunderground – Branson, MO July 19, 2018
- NTSB Determines Cause of 1999 “Duck” Boat Sinking (pdf file)
- NTSB Mate’s distraction lead to fatal 2010 “duck boat” accident (pdf file)
Video: Playlist – Coleman Family Gofundme (12 videos)