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Tracking 1 October charity funds

Nearly $34 million raised to help victims
Posted at 12:16 AM, Oct 02, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Kindness in the wake of tragedy.

Las Vegas stepped up big time in the days following the 1 October shootings. So much so, there's still donations coming everyday.

Here's a breakdown of where the donation money is going and the impact it's having.

Millions of dollars poured in after the 1 October tragedy. From million-dollar checks written by major corporations to $5 pledges on Go Fund Me, and everything in between. Proceeds to help victims came from t-shirt sales, benefit concerts, even tattoos.

And it did not go unnoticed.

"The whole entire 13 months I was in the hospital, I could just feel the love and support from the Vegas community," says Rosemarie Melanson. "It was like no other."

Rosemarie was the last surviving victim to return home.

She got help from the largest victim assistance fund, one that became so big it launched a re-negotiation with GoFundMe, the Las Vegas Victims Fund created by then County Commissioner Steve Sisolak and Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

$32,023,009 was raised fulfilling over 515 claims. This fund is now closed, Information can be found by clicking here.

"It [Las Vegas Victims Fund] certainly helped with our family to take care of doctor bills and extra expenses that we never saw coming," says Rosemarie's husband Steve.

The Vegas Strong Fund, created by members of the Nevada Resort Association, is providing funds to the Vegas Strong Compassion Scholarship administered by the Public Education Foundation, Nevada Resort Association provided the following details:

The Vegas Strong Fund has directed $1.5 million in funds to date to the Vegas Strong Compassion Scholarship administered by The Public Education Foundation. This scholarship provides post-secondary funds to children of the 58 people who lost their lives during the tragic events of October 1, 2017.

As of September 2019, 51 dependents have been identified, and The PEF has notified them of the available scholarship. To receive funding, an eligible dependent must attend a post-secondary institution, including certified and licensed trade schools and accredited two- or four-year public and private colleges.

Of the 51, 14 students are currently college-aged and eligible for support. Of these 14 students, six (6) have begun requesting and receiving scholarship funds to date for a combined total of $55,245.

Of the remaining eight (8) who have not yet requested funds, two (2) plan to request funds for this semester (fall 2019); three (3) are not currently planning to use the funds (they can use up to the age of 27); one (1) is in the US Coast Guard; one (1) is a high school senior; and, one (1) is not sure whether what his/her post-secondary plans are. In addition, there are two more students who will be college-age this winter. The PEF will continue to follow up with all the students.

Anyone wishing to support this scholarship can make a donation at thepef.org/donate.

There's also the the Vegas Strong Helping Hands Scholarship available for anyone affected by 1 October. So far there's $100,000 in the program. Two scholarships of $2500 per student, per year will be awarded.

Anyone wishing to support this scholarship can make a donation at thepef.org/donate.

Anyone wishing to apply for this scholarship can find information at thepef.org/scholarships.

The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center currently has $11,800 in a fund offering survivors emergency financial assistance.

"Sometimes they find themselves short on a power bill," says Tennille Pereira, Director of the Center.

"Or they're short for rent or something to that nature, it's kind of an emergency. They reach out to us and say you know it's kind of hard to focus on my healing when my power is going to be turned off."

So far 11 survivors have used that emergency fund, which hands out help in $500 increments. Plus there's an option to reapply up to 4 times for a total of $2,000.

"The fund is for emergencies and that kind of gives us some time to look at longer term resources," says Pereira.

For more details about the emergency financial assistance program, visit: vegasstrongrc.org/financial-assistance.

And then there was the Vegas Cares benefit show at the Venetian in November 2017. It raised nearly $90,000.

Organizer Ken Henderson tells us those proceeds are committed to a public art installation here at the Healing Garden, a piece that will focus on a "Tree-of-life" theme.

There's been a lot of talk about permanent memorial spaces. Henderson says it takes time to make sure the results will be widely embraced and timeless.

In the meantime survivors remind us the need continues and the help is appreciated.

"The support of the community to come out year after year shows how much we are a community, not just a tourist town but this is a family," says Steve Melanson.

Again, these are only the major official funds. Although we know there are several other efforts out there. The total from these official funds is nearly $34 million.

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