NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The United Way of South Hampton Roads on Tuesday provided an update on the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund.
12 people were killed and four others were hurt after a gunman opened fire at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center on May 31.
Dawn Glynn, chair of the United Way of South Hampton Roads Board of Directors, said in a news conference that the fund had received just over $4 million through Aug. 9.
Glynn said the first priority was to use those funds to cover funeral expenses, which totaled some $340,000.
An initial disbursement of $450,000 was then made in July to families who responded to the United Way’s outreach.
And on Tuesday, a second check was disbursed, with a little over $3 million being divided among families of the victims, leaving some money left over in the fund.
“We’ve had over 150 companies and over 3,500 individuals in our community give to this fund very generously,” said President and CEO of the United Way of South Hampton Roads Michele Anderson.
Towne Bank was the first company to step up and donate half a million dollars.
Attorney Jeffrey Breit says the monetary amounts for each check is based on needs.
“I knew that when I started this process there would be some people that questioned ‘why are we not just dividing the money equally?’ Because United Way wanted me to use a needs based analysis, it just required me to get all the Virginia Beach files of the families, which I did, and look at what they need and what they don’t need,” Breit said.
He said he met with two other local judges to discuss the amount each family would get.
Glynn said United Way will be doing a third disbursement in the coming months, which will be a “needs-based assessment.”
Out respect for the families and their wishes, Glynn said United Way will not be disclosing exact amounts given to each of the families. The fund will stay open as long as it is “actively receiving donations.”