City distributes $3.5M raised through #TorontoStrong Fund to van attack victims
Flowers line a memorial at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto on Thursday, April 26, 2018 for the victims of Monday's deadly van attack. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, October 11, 2018 2:38PM EDT
The money raised for the Toronto van attack victims has been distributed, the city says, with nearly a quarter of the recipients opting to re-direct their portion to those more seriously impacted by the tragedy.
The #TorontoStrong Fund was established in the wake of the April 23 incident the left ten dead and 16 wounded after a rental van mounted a Yonge Street sidewalk and ran down pedestrians in its path in the Willowdale neighbourhood.
A total of $3.5 million was raised through a flood of donations stemming from a number of fundraising initiatives and generous Torontonians.
Former Toronto Mayor Barbara Hall, the fund administrator, said the process of designating the money involved consultations with grieving families and survivors, and “many difficult discussions and decisions”
“There is no perfect way to understand all the long-term impacts these families and survivors will face,” she said in a city news release issued Thursday.
“Meeting with them and other key stakeholders helped us develop the framework to disburse all these funds to survivors and families in a way that we believe will support their recovery and healing.”
According to the city, the disbursement formula or framework devoted 25 per cent of the funds received to the 26 victims equally.
The remaining 75 per cent was designated based on the victim’s “severity of impact and other mental and physical care needs.”
The city says almost one-quarter of the victims chose to “re-direct” their funding to survivors with more traumatic injuries or families more deeply effected.
The man accused in the deadly attack was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.
Those who died ranged in age, from 22 to 94, and included a young student from South Korea and a grandfather from Jordan.
The #TorontoStrong Fund took on a second purpose back in July, when a lone gunman stormed the city’s bustling Greektown neighbourhood, fatally shooting two young girls and injuring 13 others.
The city said the fund opened a second account for those victims and their families.
More than $550,000 has been raised since then, in part thanks to fundraising events such as the Toronto Together benefit concert hosted by Canadian rockers Billy Talent and a donation campaign by the LCBO.
They raised $60,000 and $255,000, respectively.
The fund, which is a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Foundation, will continue to accept donations until Oct. 18.
The city said a similar process will be conducted to determine its distribution and is expected to be completed sometime in November.