Capital Gazette Families Fund recipients will receive allocations in coming weeks

Lauren Lumpkin
Contact Reporterllumpkin@capgaznews.com

The first allocations from the Capital Gazette Families Fund will be disbursed in the coming weeks as recipients are notified of how much money they will receive, said Amy Francis, development director for the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County.

Donors around the world have contributed more than $1.8 million since the deadly shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom June 28. Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith were killed after a gunman opened fire in the Annapolis office.

The money raised will benefit the survivors of the tragedy and family members of the victims. The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County administers the collection of these donations.

More than $1.4 million of the funds raised have been earmarked for death benefits.

About $360,000 will go directly to the survivors of the shooting. Individuals who were injured during the shooting will receive the largest gifts from that pool of money, followed by employees who were present during the attack but not injured. Some other Capital Gazette employees who were not present during the shooting will also receive some of the funds.

There was a fifth category for individuals who were treated overnight in a hospital as a result of injuries sustained during the shooting. But no one applied in this classification, Francis said.

The foundation has mailed letters to roughly 30 recipients that explain the level of benefits they will receive. Francis called this action the final step before the checks are mailed out.

Small and large gifts began pouring in almost immediately after the shooting in June. The Michael and Jackie Ferro Foundation — named in part after former Tribune Publishing Company chairman Michael Ferro — made a $1 million gift that pushed the fund past the $1.8 million mark in September.

Tribune Publishing is the Capital Gazette’s parent company.

The fund will continue to accept donations for the survivors of the shooting and the family members of the victims through Dec. 31. Then, a second round of disbursements will go out in early 2019.

Any donations received after Dec. 31 will be used for the “broader purpose of the fund,” Francis said. The CFAAC plans to assemble a committee to determine exactly how that money will be spent.

Local organizations continue to support the fund and honor its victims. Bike Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County made a $7,000 donation in mid-November and the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism on Dec. 11 will dedicate a memorial to the five people slain in the attack. The University of Maryland Athletics Department will also honor McNamara, an alumnus of the university, at a basketball game that evening.

A separate fund, the Capital Gazette Memorial Scholarship Fund, was created to provide an annual award for students pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Maryland, College Park. Fischman and McNamara were alumni of the university and Hiaasen a lecturer in journalism there. This fund has raised more than $150,000, Francis said.

Both funds are accepting donations at capitalgazette.com/cgfund.

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