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Fundraiser Controversy 

Countless times we’ve shared stories about Mainers coming together in times of tragedy. Neighbors helping neighbors.That was the case for the Labbe family of Waterville, who lost their daughter, Hunter.But, what was supposed to be helpful has turned painful for the family.10-year-old Hunter Labbe of Waterville lost her battle to cancer last March.Shortly after her death, her family says they were contacted by Rachel Knights and Sonny Perry.”These people told us to not worry about any expenses, they were from the Children’s Miracle Network.””We were under the assumption that they were there to help and from CMN.”Hunter’s mother had asked her sister, Heather Thomas, and family friend Janelle Pouliot to handle the arrangements of what Knights and Perry were willing to do to help pay for funeral expenses. On May 2nd, a benefit supper was held at Hunter’s school.Sonny Perry and his band provided music. Nearly $1000 was raised. Thomas says $600 went to Hunter’s family, which they say was spent on funeral costs.Thomas says the rest went to Perry. So when flyers of another fundraiser with Hunter’s name on them started to show up on local storefronts, the family was shocked.”They did not have permission to use Hunter’s picture. They did not contact us about having a second benefit in Hunter’s name.” Sonny Perry says he didn’t want to inconvenience the family. He says there is an unpaid bill from the first fundraiser.”I got the bill from the school, but I said instead of asking them for any money I’ll hold a benefit to raise the money for the school and pay it off.” “If he wanted to do a benefit to raise money for himself to help people doing benefits there’s other ways around this without using Hunter’s face when it’s not for her.”Heather Thomas and Janelle Pouliot decided to call CMN to check out Knights and Perry.TV5 spoke with CMN spokesperson Elliott Pitts who says, “In the past she {Rachel Knights} has been a valuable volunteer who may have mis-introduced herself.” In a written statement, Pitts added, “This reminds us how important it is to continually make sure that all volunteers, new and old, know how to represent our charity.” Rachel Knights told TV5 that she is no longer volunteering for CMN, and that Hunter’s family must have misunderstood.”It’s a total misunderstanding on someone’s part, but people would have known me for the past 8 plus years as being involved with CMN, but never did we say we were from CMN or that any funds would be coming from CMN. That never was said.””I’m really not out to make anyone look bad, I’m just out to warn people that there are people who will take advantage of uncomfortable situations which are hard enough to begin with.” Police say this incident is a good reminder for everyone who has been told or is under the assumption that someone is from a charity to call the organization and confirm it before any plans are made.