Families of those killed in the Oregon District shootings will receive a slightly smaller share of $3.1 million in charitable gifts than originally proposed while those injured in the shootings will receive a slightly higher percentage.
Taking into account what residents told them in emails and a pair of public meetings, a volunteer task force Tuesday offered its final decision about how best to divide the gifts of more than 4,400 people.
“Without a doubt, this has been the most difficult community task that I have ever undertaken, just because of the nature of what happened,” said Gary LeRoy, co-chair of the task force.
Two of the nine fatal victims in the mass shooting — Derrick Fudge and Monica Brickhouse — were Springfield natives.
The final protocol mostly reflects what was outlined in an earlier draft protocol — but with some differences.
In the final document, about 70 percent of the money, or $2.1 million, is set aside to go to families or estates of the nine deceased victims. That works out to just over $233,000 per victim’s family.
An earlier, draft protocol proposed setting aside 75 percent of the fund for families of the deceased, amounting to about $250,000 per victim.
A bottom category of expected applicants — people treated by a physician and released within 48 hours of the Aug. 4 shootings — saw its total percentage of the fund rise from a proposed 5 percent in the draft to 10 percent in the final protocol.
That category’s total pool rose from $150,000 in the draft to $300,000.
“In the final analysis, we have done the right thing and the fair thing,” said LeRoy, who is associate dean of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.
“Some people feel we just didn’t make the right decisions,” said Brother Raymond Fitz, also a task force co-chair and former president of the University of Dayton.
Both men emphasized that the money is meant to be a gift, not “compensation.”
“There’s no amount of money that takes away the pain,” said Mike Parks, president of the Dayton Foundation, which oversaw the fund’s organization at the request of local leaders.
Different categories of survivors would divide lower percentages of the total fund.
Those who were hospitalized for 48 hours or more as a result of the shootings would be in line for a share of 20 percent of the fund or about $600,000.
Those who can document a longer duration of hospitalization would be eligible for more money. For example, those who were admitted for 10 or more days would be eligible for a share of $360,000.
Those who can show they were treated by a physician within 48 hours of the shooting would be eligible for a share of 10 percent or $300,000.
While the number of deceased victims is set, it’s unclear how many injured survivors will apply for a share of the charitable fund.
“We really won’t know the final numbers until the end of the month,” Parks said.
The foundation is now accepting applications for a share of the money at DaytonFoundation.org (https://www.daytonfoundation.org/oregondistributions.html).
Applications are meant to be printed out to be completed and are due by 6 p.m. Oct. 31.
Donations will continue to be accepted at that web site, also until Oct. 31.
In addition to Fudge, 57, and Brickhouse, 39, the other Oregon District shooting victims were: Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; and Megan Betts, 22. Dayton police killed the shooter, Betts’ brother, in the melee on East Fifth Street.
Fitz said an attorney for the Betts family contacted the task force to tell them the family would not apply for a share of the money.
“Their lawyer has communicated to us, that the family will not make an application for Megan,” Fitz said.
Parks had said the family would receive consideration for the loss of their daughter, Megan, but not for the loss of their son, Connor Betts, whom Dayton police identified as the shooter responsible for the massacre.
“Knowing full well from talking with other community leaders who had similar situations, that we would be criticized no matter what we did,” LeRoy said in a press conference at Dayton Foundation offices. “We realized we would still be criticized, and that’s what one of our consultants said.”
“It has taken an emotional toll to provide the leadership for this, because you touch the emotions of the community,” Fitz said.
LeRoy said the task force was “trying to respect the intent of the gifts, recognizing that this is not a compensation fund, but a gift.”
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