Fund to support flood victims hits $1 million
Thunder Bay’s disaster relief fundraising efforts have reached a milestone.
The Disaster Relief Committee has brought in more than $1 million, which will be matched by the province on a two-to-one basis. That means the $1 million will become $3 million after government funds are added.
The committee is still a long way from its fundraising goal of at least $5 million locally, which will become $15 million after matching funds are received.
But the $1-million mark is still a cause for celebration, committee chairman Wayne Fletcher said Thursday.
“It’s great,” he said.
“I think it just demonstrates what I’ve always thought about Thunder Bay: it does, truly, have a big heart.”
Fletcher said a golf tournament organized by True Grit Consulting pushed the fundraising effort past the $1-million mark. It’s estimated the tournament brought in more than $100,000, but final numbers won’t be available until the weekend.
More events will be held over the next few weeks. For example, on Oct. 5 Evergreen A United Neighbourhood is holding a street party in support of flood relief, and the Disaster Relief Committee is reaching out to other Ontario municipalities for support, Fletcher said.
The committee is also seeking help from Thunder Bay businesses.
The money raised will help Thunder Bay residents affected by the flooding in May, but who don’t have adequate insurance to cover their losses.
The deadline to apply for assistance is Oct. 31, and it will be awhile yet before the government funds come through and payments are made to those residents, Fletcher said.
“I think (the government) will wait until we’ve shut off fundraising, and then they’ll see how much we’ve raised,” he said.
Fletcher said the initial plan was to get money to those who need it by Christmas. But, the process is proving to be complex, and the committee is currently discussing whether that date will be moved back.
“We haven’t come up with a firm date on that yet,” Fletcher said.
The committee will, in the meantime, continue to hold clinics aimed at helping flood-affected residents complete the necessary forms to apply for flood relief.
The next clinic runs Sept. 25 at Minnesota Park on Minnesota Street, 6-8 p.m.
For more information, and a full schedule of clinics, visit thunderbay.ca/flood