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Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund Distributes $3.8 Million To Mass Shooting Victims, Families

The Bridges family drove over an hour to place nine teddy bears on the memorial in the Oregon District, one for each of the victims who lost their lives.
Jason Reynolds

More than four dozen people affected by the Dayton mass shooting have received a monetary gift from the Oregon District Tragedy Fund. The Dayton Foundation and members of a special committee overseeing the fund Monday announced the distributions, that took place last week.

The Tragedy Fund was established just hours after the mass shooting on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019 outside Ned Peppers bar in the Oregon District. It included a total of 5,061 individual charitable gifts. As of November 13, 2019, committee members say, the fund totaled $3,822,463.01.

The massacre killed nine people and injured nearly three dozen others.

Oversight committee co-chair Brother Raymond Fitz says that while no amount of money can begin to make up for what they experienced, he says the fund is meant to help shooting survivors with serious physical injuries and the relatives of the dead.

“For the deceased, in many cases these were major breadwinners for those families. So, we would hope that the money that’s been allotted there will help ensure the future of children and other dependents in the families, so we think the gift will be helpful in that way,” he says.

All of the fund's assets are being distributed to survivors and victims’ families. The names of the recipients are not being made public. And, the fund remains open for donations. 

Dayton Foundation President Mike Parks says the oversight committee will distribute another round of gifts next year. 

"There will continue to be funds that will come in over the next year. There are still lots of special events, and the fund is not closed," Parks says. "This time next fall we'll make one additional distribution to all the same recipients at the same percentages, pro-rata to those that had a loved-one taken or that were seriously physically injured."

The firm Flagel Huber Flagel completed an independent review of the fund’s contributions and distributions.

A total of 58 applications were submitted, 11 of which were denied because they did not meet the requirements of the final protocol.

“I personally have reviewed the applications and disbursements and can attest that the appropriate processes were followed in accordance with the final protocol approved by the Committee,” Charles Craft, CPA and partner said in a statement.

The number of approved applicants and gift amounts per category are as follows:

·         Category A (deceased): 8 certified applications, receiving $334,465.51 each

·         Category B (physically injured/requiring hospitalization for 48 hours or greater)

o   Hospitalized for 217+ hours (10 or more days): 2, receiving $229,347.78 each

o   Hospitalized for 121-216 hours (6-9 days): 2, receiving $114,673.89 each

o   Hospitalized for 48-120 hours (2-5 days): 3, receiving $24,483.09 each

·         Category C (physically injured/treated and released from a hospital or by a private physician or licensed clinician with 48 hours of the tragedy)

o   Certified gunshot wound: 12, receiving $19,112.31 each

o   Other physical injury: 20, receiving $7,644.93 each

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.