SPRING LACEY, Ala. (WAFF) – 19-year-old Austin Hutchen’s fundraising is under scrutiny. Hutchen says the money raised will go to his father’s estate to support the Lacey Spring Volunteer Fire Department and his high school’s JROTC program Hay Rides.
“I just thought in my head, if I can surprise them with a little bit of money, it would be great,” Hutchens said. “I went and donated, maybe $240 out of it.”
Community members came to us with concerns because the event was being held on the property of her father, who is a registered sex offender. We then reached out to the Morgan County School system and a spokesperson said this was not a school sanctioned event.
Austin says he’s not concerned about the optics.
“I think most people are looking for an issue. I mean, everyone on this road and in this community knows my father and knows that he is not like that.”
He tells me the only concern he has is people getting hurt in the helicopter. That’s why his mother is involved in this.
“My opinion is that my life should not be forced by my father’s past and I feel the same way. I don’t understand why people are worried about it. I was driving a car, he had nothing to do with it.”
Austin says he plans to do another campaign next week when his dad is out of town.
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