A Columbia County teen is raising money to benefit the family of a youth who died from a recent dirt-bike accident.
Evans High School student C.J. Pearson started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family of Michael McElmurray, a Westside High and former Augusta Christian student.
Pearson has raised more than $3,400 of a $20,000 goal, as of Tuesday. The money will be used for McElmurray’s medical expenses, as well as other necessities, Pearson said.
McElmurray, 16, died Nov. 14.
Pearson, a sophomore, said it was incumbent upon him to set up a GoFundMe page for McElmurray.
“For me, this was really important,” Pearson said. “I have an opportunity to do a good thing for a family in need. I’m certainly glad that lots of people around the community have come together to donate to GoFundMe; it’s not even around the community, it’s around the country.”
Pearson said he sees a little of himself in the former Westside High baseball player. Pearson said McElmurray lived every day like it was his last.
Although Pearson said he personally didn’t know McElmurray, his story affected him .
“His death stresses to me that every day you should live your life,” he said. “Truly, Michael McElmurray lived a life worth living every single day. Truly and truthfully, I think it brought a lot of people across the CRSA to terms with the simple fact that life is a very fragile thing and you should make the best of it every single day.”
Pearson knew McElmurray through mutual friends who were in Social Inc. The private organization teaches children social etiquette.
It was through these relationships, Pearson said, that he knew the kind of person McElmurray, on a daily basis, exhibited. Thus, Pearson said it was his place to lend a helping hand to the family.
“I take honor in helping a local family in need,” Pearson said.
“The struggle that Michael’s family is going through right now is a struggle that we can never understand, but we can all empathize with it. And we can all support them and stand together shoulder to shoulder, hand to hand and back to back with their family. And that’s something I wanted to do.”
Those interested in donating can go to gofundme.com/4pi8qd4.