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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

How will the $7.5M Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund be distributed?



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WPEC) - A committee will be divvying up more than $7 million raised for the victims of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, high school massacre.

People got a chance to speak up about how things should be split up at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday night.

No dollar amount can replace the lives lost or the memory of that tragic day. People like Franci Gargora and Kevin Muller walked into the town hall meeting not knowing how the money will be distributed, but now feel a little more at ease.

“We’re going to spread the word," Gargora said. "We’ve got a lot of friends that need to know about this."

Gargora and Muller’s teenagers share many things in common.

They’re not only in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School marching band together, they are also survivors of the bloodshed that occurred Valentine’s Day.

“According to this meeting here, she already qualifies and already accounted for, for being in the freshman building, and she would qualify for some type of funds here,” Muller said.

The National Compassion Fund is working with the Broward Education Foundationto evenly split about $7.5 million raised so far for victims, which includes three categories:

  • Families who lost a loved one
  • Those who were injured and had to stay in the hospital
  • Anyone who experienced psychological trauma

There are still some things that need to be worked out, like which categories will receive more aid.

“What is that exactly? What’s the definition of professional counseling? There are so many ways of getting counseling,” Muller said.

Anyone who wants to apply for benefits can do so through the end of next month.

Funds will start being distributed in July.

Another town hall will be held in Parkland next Tuesday. A time has not yet been announced.

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