Group named to oversee nearly $2 million Oregon District tragedy fund


Thomas Gnau - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (TNS)



The Dayton Foundation is convening 16 volunteers to oversee the disbursement of the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund — a fund that has reached nearly $2 million, the foundation’s president said Friday.

So far, nearly 4,300 individual gifts have been made to the fund, created within 12 hours of the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District, an event which left 10 individuals dead, including the shooter.

Co-chairing the newly formed committee are Brother Raymond Fitz, former president of the University of Dayton, and Gary LeRoy, associate dean for student affairs and admission at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and former chair of the foundation’s Governing Board.

“As the volunteer Community Oversight Committee for this compensation fund, we absolutely want to do what is in the best interest of these individuals while upholding the intent of the thousands of donors who have generously contributed to the fund for the benefit of others,” Fitz said in a foundation statement released Friday morning.

A press release from the foundation Friday said the fund stood at “just under $1.3 million in donations.”

But in an interview at foundation offices at Stratacache Tower Friday, foundation President Michael Parks said the fund was closer to $2 million.

With a tentative gift deadline of Oct. 1, the fund is expected to grow even further.

Donations will go to the families of nine people killed Aug. 4, as well as to those injured in the shooting.

The committee will draft the protocol for how funds will be distributed. The public will be invited to review the draft and provide input at a date to be announced, the foundation said.

The other committee members are:

• Pastor Renard Allen, St. Luke Baptist Church;

• Melodie Bennett, House of Bread;

• Honorable Erik Blaine, community volunteer;

• David Bowman, the Ohlmann Group;

• Doug Compton, Fifth Third Bank, Dayton Business Committee;

• Marva Cosby, Cosby Consulting and vice-chair of the foundation Governing Board;

• Sarah Hackenbracht, Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association;

• Sandy Hunt, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office;

• Helen Jones-Kelley, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for Montgomery County;

• Julio Mateo, 361 Interactive, LLC;

• Phil Parker, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce;

• Natalie Skilliter, Corner Kitchen;

• Rev. Joshua Ward, Omega Baptist Church; and

• Carolyn Wright, Parity Inc.

The shooting victims were: Derrick Fudge, 57; Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39; and Megan Betts, 22.

Nonvoting, ex officio committee members providing pro bono assistance include: Chuck Craft, Tyler Small, Joe Oehlers, Cory Paul and Erin Ritter, the foundation said.

“Our community is grieving, and we’re doing our due diligence to be sure that these heartfelt contributions are distributed in an equitable, transparent and timely manner,” LeRoy said. “We’re consulting with national experts and community foundation leadership who have experienced similar mass tragedies to help provide guidance as we work through this process.”

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Thomas Gnau

Dayton Daily News, Ohio (TNS)

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