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Donors smash goal for school hero Antoinette Tuff's fund for inner-city kids

By David Simpson, for CNN
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu August 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tuff's fund will pay for travel for inner-city children
  • She set goal of $1,500, but more than $100,000 has been raised
  • School bookkeeper persuaded armed school intruder to surrender to police
  • President Obama plans to invite her to White House

(CNN) -- Donors have been rushing to support a fund for inner-city children started by Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper who persuaded a heavily armed intruder at a Georgia elementary school to surrender last week.

Tuff set a goal of $1,500 when she started her fundraising campaign online on August 22, two days after her intervention was credited with averting a tragedy at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy near Atlanta. By Wednesday afternoon, 2,114 people had contributed $103,806, according to Tuff's page at fundraising site gofundme.com.

"Greetings from Toronto. Thank you for your incredible courage and faith," said one of many comments posted by donors on the site.

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Tuff's invitation to donors said the money will fund travel for children.

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"We will provide inner-city kids the opportunity to see the world. If you change their vision, you can change their lives," Tuff wrote on the site.

Michael Brandon Hill, a 20-year-old man with a history of mental illness, entered Tuff's school and fired a shot from an AK-47 at the ground, officials said. He came into the school office and encountered Tuff. In a lengthy conversation, she told him about her personal struggles, assured him she loved him and eventually helped him surrender to police.

Shooting suspect's brother felt 'hopeless at helping him'

No one was injured.

President Obama said Tuff "probably saved a lot of lives, including the life of the potential perpetrator." The president called Tuff last week and told CNN "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo he plans to invite her to the White House.

School bookkeeper, dispatcher reunite with a hug

The link to donate is http://www.gofundme.com/41fqvw#.

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