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Club fire charity to Great White singer: No thanks

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 11:50 am •  Published: January 18, 2013

The foundation needs to raise more than $1 million to build and maintain a permanent memorial at the fire site, said its president, Gina Russo. The group secured the land last year and plans to release a design during a Feb. 17 ceremony at the site. It has so far raised more than $100,000, Russo said, and has several other fundraisers planned.

Great White held benefit concerts after the fire, Eagan said, and raised about $185,000 for the Station Family Fund, a charity that helped people who were severely burned, children who had lost parents and others. She said that at that time, there was backlash from some families, but board members decided people so desperately needed the money it didn't matter where it came from.

That fund agreed to allow the band to raise money in its name, and agreed ahead of time that band members would not be making money off the performances, she said. Their association ended in 2005.

Since then, band members agreed to pay $1 million to settle lawsuits brought by families of those killed, although they did not admit wrongdoing. The band's tour manager, Daniel Biechele, who lit the pyrotechnics, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter. The brothers who owned the club pleaded no contest.

Russell and Great White have split and are arguing over who has rights to the name of the band.