Families Propose Guidelines For Victims Fund

Aurora Theater Shooting Victims Fund Has Raised More Than $5 Million

Family members of some of the people killed in the Colorado theater shootings are proposing guidelines to ensure the money collected by a fundraising campaign goes to the victims.

Last week, the group criticized the fundraising campaign. The so-called Aurora 12 said the fund collected more than $5 million using the victims' names and images but only gave each family $5,000 for medical bills and other expenses.

The Aurora 12 and the 7/20 Recovery Committee will meet Wednesday evening in Aurora.

The Aurora 12's guidelines (as released by the group):

1. The victims funds will include all funds collected by Giving First, Community First or any of its affiliates designated for victims of the 7/20 shooting incident to include The Aurora Victim's Relief Fund, the 7/20 Recovery funds, funds collected by COVA and the City of Aurora and all other funds. The monies in all funds will be paid 100% directly to the victims to include all interest and exclude any administration fees. If a fund is in doubt as to its use it will default to the Victims' fund unless it can be proved otherwise.

We propose all the funds already collected and still being collected on behalf the Aurora Shooting Victims by the City of Aurora, the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance and Giving First/Committee First be placed in one central, coordinated fund. All monies moved into one central, coordinated fund outside of all non-profits to be accessed by the 7/20 Recovery Committee.

2. No monies should/can be distributed until the Victim Resource Committee recommends a distribution and the Executive Committee approves same. The discussion covered the emergency needs for those victims in dire need. Those needs should be covered quickly to prevent additional suffering. It was suggested that Governor Hickenlooper's Office set aside monies that could address the immediate needs until the recovery funds are released. This is covered again below.

3. Giving First is to have a robust presence for The Aurora Victim Relief Fund on its website similar to what was apparent the initial days of the shootings (this was agreed to in a separate call with M. Williams and T. Teves). This should then funnel into the central, coordinated fund referenced above.

4. The goal of the fund is to have the current balance distributed within the next 30/45days to the victims. With continuing distributions in the agreed upon methodologies as additional funds are generated. This should be an ongoing effort.

5. Giving First/Community First and any affiliates for the purpose of this list are referenced as Giving First.

6. Full transparency on all funds will be required and the Victim Resource Committee will employ an independent accounting firm to audit this transparency. All parties will completely cooperate with this process. We are searching for a firm that would provide this service for the Victim Resource Committee pro bono.

7. The Executive Committee has been formed. It will consist of those currently sitting on the committee and will increase its number by one. This shall be a victim that is to be decided upon. The recommendation/s will be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will vote on the recommendation/s and the vote shall be unanimous prior to the distribution of funds. The recommendations that will come before the Executive Committee will be generated by members of the Victim Resource Committee

8. A Victim Resource Committee will be formed. The Victim Resource Committee will have a majority of victims participating, minimum 60% / 40%. The Victim Resource Committee members will be victims and non-victims. The non-victims will be community members of various groups. The role of the non-victim members is to provide input and directions. They will facilitate the committees' progress. The non-victim members will not have a vote, since they are in an advisory capacity. The Victim Resource Committee will make recommendations to the 7/20 recovery Executive Committee regarding the distribution of the Aurora Victim's Relief Funds. This includes but is not limited to 7/20 Recovery funds, Giving First, Community First as well as funds collected with the purpose to aid the recovery of the theater shooting victims. No funds shall be distributed without a recommendation from this committee.

9. As we work with the victims to develop the Victim Resource Committee and the Executive Committee who will in turn create and approve a distribution plan for the fund, we will continue to meet the immediate needs of the victims through COVA. This will be funded by the State, Federal or local as the resource committee works out the details of the distribution methodology. This interim solution WILL NOT be funded by any of the funds in question and will continue until the Victim Resource Committee and the Executive Committee have agreed on a distribution methodology. The needs of the victims will continue to be met via this funding methodology until the Recovery Funds are distributed.

10. A unanimous vote will be required from the Executive Committee to approve the fund distribution recommendations. If a unanimous vote is not achieved, the recommendations will be sent back to the Victim Resource Committee. No funds will be distributed unless by recommendation of the Victim Resource Committee. An independent arbitrator mutually agreed upon will be employed if there is a deadlock for a significant period of time (45 days).

11. The Victim Resource Committee as well as all stakeholders will work diligently to increase the funds so as much assistance can be given directly to the victims as possible.

12. The Victim Resource Committee and all involved will work to leverage all alternative sources of funding to assist the victims in an effort to help as many victims as effectively as possible. This will be done prior to distribution of the Victims funds in an effort to provide as much assistance directly to the victims as possible.

13. 100% of the Aurora Victims Relief Fund and the 7/20 recovery fund (since 7/20 committee seemed to rename it during the meeting) and any other victim assistance funds will be used exclusively to help meet the needs of the victims. The funds will be paid directly to the victims and will not be distributed through any non-profits. (COVA would be the one exception if suggested by the Victim Resource Committee and approved by the Executive Committee). This will not pertain to individual funds established by victims that are separate from Giving First or Community First. Funds will be distributed directly for the purpose that the fund solicited the monies via the victims and the surviving members that had legal guardianship of the deceased.

14. Leveraging all resources available to the government aided by the Governor's office, the resource side of the committee will reach out to all health care providers and require / encourage them to accept only insurance payments as final payment for any of the victims. Victims will not be responsible for any costs and that includes co/pays. This will also include medication and after care (i.e. Physical Therapy, medicine and medical devices). Government funding for medical providers that can prove hardship should be discussed.

15. The Victim Resource Committee will work, based on victim needs, to leverage local and national businesses to provide victim assistance in the form of home modification, vehicle modification etc. allowing to maximize the impact of the monies in the Victims fund.

16. The Colorado Victims Relief Fund will fund all counseling costs for all victims. This will not come out of the victims funds allowing to drive this fund further to the individual needs of the victims.

The Aurora 12 group said for the purpose of the Aurora Victims' Relief Fund, they have defined victims as anyone who was in theater 9 at the time of the shootings, anyone murdered or injured by the shooter and anyone living in the apartments which were evacuated.

Twelve people were killed in the shooting at the Aurora Century 16 theater and 58 others were injured.

The Aurora Victims' Relief Fund has distributed $100,000 to non-profit groups helping the victims and $350,000 to the victims.

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