A group that collects donations for the families of the victims of boulder shooting promises more transparency.
BOULDER, Colorado – The nonprofit that raised the most money after a mass shooting in a Boulder King Soopers has doubled its distribution to families in the two weeks since a victim’s husband raised concerns about the slow distribution and called for more transparency .
The Colorado Healing Fund distributed $ 1.5 million to victims Monday, up from about $ 700,000 in early June, according to former Colorado attorney general Cynthia Coffman, who founded the nonprofit with a grant from her office and now as chairman of an advisory board of the fund. The fund has raised $ 4.4 million since the March 22 shooting, Coffman said.
The nonprofit will now publish a quarterly public report detailing how much has been raised and how much has been distributed, according to Coffman. She said the decision to publish a report was made before John Mackenzie, whose wife, Lynn Murray, died in the shootings, went public with concerns.
Mackenzie formed a group called Stand Up Bolder and urged the state to step in, take over the funds raised, hire a special master to distribute the money and audit the nonprofits. Mackenzie specifically asked for attorney Kenneth Feinberg as special master for the fund.
Feinberg was elected by the government at the time. John Hickenlooper for distributing funds raised after the Aurora Theater shoot.He also looked after victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and, more recently, raising money to victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Denver.
Feinberg said he knew little about the situation in Boulder, but he could understand the tensions.
“In all fairness to everyone involved in Boulder who are trying to do the right thing, I mean, no one is literally trying to sabotage anything, it’s just that no good deed goes unpunished,” Feinberg said in an interview with 9NEWS.
Aside from speaking to Mackenzie, he said he had not been contacted by any head of state regarding the boulder shooting and said he was unfamiliar with the Colorado Healing Fund’s efforts.
The fund was created as a new model for charitable donations after mass tragedies. The board members say that the fund should not only provide short-term, but also long-term support.
Feinberg said he came from a different mindset about victim compensation.
“Long-term hardship, there isn’t enough money, there really isn’t,” he said. “And I’ve found out from my own experience, not with regard to Boulder, the sooner you collect and distribute the money and continue as best you can, that’s best.”
Following the shootings at the Aurora Theater, Feinberg said he had decided that most of the funds raised should go to the family members of the victims who died in the shootings. It was shared equally among them.
The rest of the money was given to victims who were physically injured in the shooting, the dollar amount depending on how much time each victim spent in the hospital.
“It wasn’t a difficult calculation … one at a time,” he said. “The hard part is the emotions … like the families I am hearing about now in Boulder get very emotionally angry frustrated. Absolutely understandable. “
Feinberg said that as generous as Americans are, they often forget that money doesn’t bring a loved one back.
“I don’t care if you give people $ 20 million, it won’t cure, it won’t graduate,” he said.
“Money is a very hollow substitute for loss.”
Contact 9News reporter Steve Staeger with tips on this or any other story via email Steve@9news.com.
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