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Updated: November 17, 2023

Maine Community Foundation raises $1.8M for Lewiston recovery fund

People at a press conference Photo / Courtesy Maine Community Foundation "This is something we can do to help," Maine Community Foundation President and CEO Deborah Ellwood, center, said at Thursday press conference in Lewiston.

In the wake of last month’s mass shooting in Lewiston, the Maine Community Foundation said it has raised $1.8 million so far to support recovery efforts.

The total includes more than $1.3 million specifically designated by donors to the victims-and-families portion of the fund, which will be directed by a local steering committee in the weeks and months ahead.

“This is something we can do to help — we are sad that it is needed, but we are glad to serve as an organization that can play a part in the continuum of care that will help Lewiston rise and thrive, following this traumatic time,” said Deborah Ellwood, the organization’s president and CEO.

The Maine Community Foundation created the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund within 36 hours of the Oct. 25 mass shooting, that left 18 people dead and injured 13. 

Donors to the fund include L.L.Bean Inc. which contributed $250,000, and Bath Iron Works, which donated $100,000 to the response fund.

'Lewiston is a special place'

At a press conference in Lewiston on Thursday, developer Tom Platz of Platz Associates was announced as the chair of the Victims & Families Fund’s steering committee. 

“Lewiston is a special place, and we have gathered a special group of community leaders and connected people in the networks impacted,” Platz said. “I am pleased to share that we will hold our first meeting this afternoon, and already, there is so much resolve and drive to help — it is a poignant honor to work with this group to help bring Lewiston back from this terrible mark on our history.”

Jeff Dion, a nationally recognized fund administrator for victims of mass casualty events, is working with Maine Community Foundation and the steering committee to ensure proper management of the fund.

“It is critically important to build community consensus on the eligibility and distribution of these funds and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard,” he said.

He also noted that while final fund distributions will take a matter of months, the plan is to make advance payments available to the injured and the families of the deceased in coming weeks.

Eligibility for the funds will include the families of people killed, those injured, and individuals who were present at the time of the shootings in Lewiston who may have experienced trauma.

More information 

Further information about Maine Community Foundation's response to the Lewiston shootings is available here.

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