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Community Foundation officials: We're committed to helping bombing victims, families

BY NANCY ANTHONY AND STEVEN C. DAVIS Published: November 16, 2012

Since 1995, the Murrah Disaster Relief Fund has worked with many survivors and families of those directly affected by the Murrah Building bombing. The fund, administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, provides services and financial assistance to meet their needs and help them move forward.

Initially, more than 40 separate funds worked cooperatively to provide assistance. These efforts and the services provided are hallmarks of the Oklahoma City response that has been recognized and lauded throughout the country.

The Murrah Disaster Relief Fund and the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma are the only two funds still actively assisting survivors. Approximately 50 cases are ongoing, in addition to 45 students who are either still in college or are eligible for scholarships through the Survivors Education Fund. Two case managers continue to respond to any individuals or families with physical or psychological needs related to the bombing.

Recent news reports have raised questions about services provided to or requested by specific individuals. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation, through its oversight of the relief fund, is committed to the confidentiality of those we've served. We're unable to publicly respond to those allegations but we believe a number of the representations and statements in the articles are inaccurate.

A comprehensive performance audit will be conducted by an independent firm to confirm whether the foundation has properly administered the Murrah Disaster Relief Fund. We agree with former Gov. Frank Keating and former Mayor Ron Norick that this is an appropriate way to address the reported concerns. The foundation welcomes the review. If any shortcomings are identified, they will be rectified. Correspondingly, the performance audit will assure that any criticism is based upon actual facts.

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