<
>

Fund for McElrathbey brothers raises nearly $50,000

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Nearly $50,000 has been raised so far to
help Clemson freshman Ray Ray McElrathbey raise his 11-year-old
brother, Fahmarr, with contributions from across the country,
including an NBA player and REM's manager.

Jenny Sullivan of First Citizen's Bank of Clemson, where the
trust fund was established, said along with the higher profile
donors have come a grade-school girl stapling her $1 allowance to a
contribution from her mother.

"It restores my faith in human beings," Sullivan said.

McElrathbey took custody of Fahmarr this summer because of their
mother's continuing drug problem. The elder McElrathbey said he
wanted his younger brother near him and not returned to foster
care.

The school announced the trust fund for the McElrathbeys on
Sept. 19, about a week after the NCAA granted a waiver to allow the
brothers to receive help and not violate rules against extra
benefits.

Attorney Chris Olson, who has overseen donations until the trust
fund could be enacted, said the latest total was $48,619.

The trust department at First Citizens would take over the
fund's administration when the agreement was finalized, said bank
senior vice president Bill Harley.

Harley wouldn't disclose the NBA player who made the donation.

The McElrathbeys share an off-campus apartment and live off Ray
Ray's scholarship funds and what he can pick up cutting grass or
doing other odd jobs, the elder McElrathbey has said.

The NCAA's waiver allowed Clemson personnel to help with
Fahmarr's transportation to R.C. Edwards Middle School and around
town, and to offer care while Ray Ray was traveling with the team.

Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said he planned to
make a donation and did not think the NCAA's guidelines prevented
school personnel, football coaches or others from contributing.

Right now, Phillips is happy with the initial public response to
the McElrathbeys.

"I think it's tremendous and it goes beyond our borders,"
Phillips said. "It's gratifying that people have heard the story
and want to be helpful."