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Maine businesses and individuals are stepping up to contribute to the Maine Community Foundation’s Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund. The fund was set up after the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston to help victims, survivors and the communities affected by the tragedy.
“We are deeply saddened by the mass shootings in Lewiston, and we grieve with all the victims and the wider community, Deborah Ellwood, president and CEO of Maine Community Foundation, said in a statement emailed to Mainebiz.
"We are also heartened by the immediate and generous outpouring of support from thousands of people, businesses and organizations from Maine and beyond,” she added, predicting that the fund will succeed "due to the desire of so many people who simply want to help however they can.”
A spokesman for the organization told Mainebiz that the organization has not yet released a donor list or amount total because the effort is ongoing and not all commitments have been made public.
Donations of all sizes have come in from corporations, foundations and individuals around the world, the spokesman said. He also noted that larger gifts can sometimes take a little time.
The list of donors to the Maine Community Foundation response fund continues to grow. Some that have publicly announced their pledges are described below.
L.L.Bean Inc. said it contributed $250,000, to be divided equally between assisting victims and their families with immediate and ongoing need and to support long-term healing in the community.
“We are in the process of determining additional efforts to remember and honor the victims, recognize the heroes and signify our lasting solidarity with the people of Lewiston,” the Freeport-based outdoor gear retailer said in an Oct. 31 announcement.
The John T. Gorman Foundation, a Portland nonprofit, also donated $250,000 to the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund, as well as $25,000 to the United Way of Androscoggin County to support immediate needs.
The foundation also pledged to continue to work with partners in the Lewiston community to respond to needs as they arise.
“Throughout its history, Lewiston and its residents have proven to be resilient and strong in the face of adversity,” said Nicole Witherbee, the foundation’s president and CEO. “We know that with care, compassion and our collective support, this tragedy will not define its people or its future.”
Bath Iron Works donated $100,000 to the Maine Community Foundation response fund, while employees at the shipyard raised more than $30,000 in a special gate collection on Nov. 1 for former colleague Peyton Brewer-Ross. He was one of 18 people killed in the mass shooting.
“This is a remarkable upwelling of support that will go a long way toward helping Peyton’s family going forward,” said BIW President Chuck Krugh. “I’m proud to be associated with an amazing team of people who are willing to support and help their coworkers and their families.”
Brewer-Ross, 40, had worked in BIW’s pipe shot test crew.
In a social media post about the shipyard's gate collection, the IAM Local S6 Union said: “Nothing can replace what's been taken from this young family. The funds collected are a representation of our capacity for compassion. We hope this compassion can help bear some of the burden imposed on Brother Peyton’s partner and daughter in their time of grief.”
As of Thursday, a GoFund Me family crowdfunding campaign had raised more than $99,000 for Brewer-Ross’s two-year-old daughter, Elle. Families and friends of several other victims also have ongoing fundraisers on the platform
Other companies that have announced donations related to the shooting are as follows.
Hannaford Supermarkets: $210,000 in donations including $110,000 for mental health resources; $50,000 to MCF’s response fund; and $15,500 to support immediate, critical needs (announced Oct. 31).
Bank of America: $200,000 in donations including $150,000 to MCF's response fund and $50,000 to the Central Maine Medical Center's Compassionate Care Fund (announced Nov. 3).
TD Charitable Foundation: $100,000 to MCF’s response fund and $100,000 to United Way of Androscoggin County (announced Oct. 30).
Hammond Lumber Co.: $100,000 to MCF’s response fund (announced Nov. 2).
DraftKings: $100,000 to the MCF’s response fund (announced Oct. 31).
KeyBank Foundation: $50,000 to MCF’s response fund (announced Oct. 31).
Camden National Bank: $50,000 in donations (announced Nov. 9). The amount includes $15,000 to the LA Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Foundation, $15,000 to MCF’s response fund, $10,000 to support the Lewiston Police Relief Association, and $10,000 to address future needs of the community.
VIP Tires & Service: $12,000 to the City of Lewiston Support Fund (announced Nov. 15)
United Insurance: $10,000 to MCF’s response fund (announcement and presentation Nov. 6).
Caesar’s Sportsbook: Unspecified donation to MCF’s response fund (announced Nov. 3).
“The entire United Insurance team grieves for the lives lost and forever altered by the Lewiston tragedy,” said Jim Darroch, director of marketing and community engagement for United Insurance.
“We’re grateful for the quick and comprehensive action of the Maine Community Foundation in their efforts to ease the financial burdens faced by the victims’ families, the survivors, and businesses impacted by the shelter in place order,” he added. “We hope our donation, combined with the outpouring of support from so many individuals and businesses throughout Maine and the world, helps the Lewiston area recover and begin to heal.”