USF homecoming queen Rachel Canning has put some initially unwanted publicity to very good use.
The beneficiary: advocacy group Autism Speaks, which looks likely to raise an additional $2,500, all thanks to Canning.
The 22-year-old University of South Florida senior got a heap of abuse on social media last week after being mistaken for an 18-year-old New Jersey brunette of the same name.
THAT Rachel Canning made international headlines after suing her parents, demanding they pay her living and college expenses. (She and her parents will appear before a judge April 22.)
Commenters bombarded the social media accounts of USF's Rachel Canning, especially her old Facebook campaign page for homecoming queen, mistaking her for the Other One.
Many who left negative comments realized it too late and wrote follow-up posts apologizing to Canning. At the suggestion of a friendly commenter, Canning decided to channel the web traffic to a good cause.
She posted a link to her fundraising page for Autism Speaks. Last week, she had met 94 percent of her $150 goal. Since then, she raised her goal to $2,500, and met 92 percent of it. That's $2,300. Way to go, Rachel!