Newtown Fund Receives IRS Nonprofit Status, Is Ready To Write Checks
NEWTOWN, Feb 27, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
One of the larger funds in Newtown received its official nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service this week, and the organizers are prepared to write checks to Sandy Hook families in need.
The Newtown Memorial Fund Inc. describes itself as a sustainable fund to provide for the immediate and ongoing needs of people affected by the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The group has raised more than $1 million and hopes to raise millions more.
This is one of many funds that have sprung up since the shooting. The largest has an estimated $9.7 million and has been coordinated by the United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Savings Bank, though the distributions will be overseen by a new nonprofit formed last week.
The Newtown Memorial Fund Inc. has paid for home expenses for the families of students who survived the shooting. The fund is intended to help people directly affected by the tragedy -- those who were at the school, whether they are families of surviving students, teachers, first responders or someone else, said Vice Chairman Jeff Belanger.
Anyone in need of money should contact the office of First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra, the group said Tuesday.
Some families of surviving students have not returned to work since Dec. 14 as they deal with anguish, Belanger said. As a result, they've needed assistance paying for a mortgage, home heating oil, food and other expenses.
In the long term, the fund also is designed to pay scholarships to Newtown students and to contribute to some type of permanent memorial at some point.
"We're off to a strong start by reaching one million dollars in our first two months while we were getting our organization together and filing for official status," Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. founder Brian Mauriello said in a prepared statement. "With this status granted, we can now make even more progress toward our fundraising goals."
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