More than 17 years after a bomb ripped apart a federal building in Oklahoma City, more than $12 million in donated funds remains, and survivors say the foundation in charge of most of it has denied requests to pay for surgery, tuition and other needs.
Deloris Watson has cared for her grandson, P.J. Allen, since his lungs were nearly destroyed by the blast April 19, 1995. At 18 months, P.J. was the youngest survivor of the America's Kids day care center, where 15 children died.
Watson said she asked the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, which controls $10 million of the funds, to help pay travel and medical expenses. “They told me he had to have five failed surgeries in the state of Oklahoma before they would pay for him to go out of state. That's ridiculous,” she said.
She said she is concerned the fund will deny future requests and that other bombing survivors are afraid to speak out.
Nancy Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president, said the foundation provides thorough oversight of the funds. Because of its sound investment, the foundation has been able to stretch initial donations for many years, she said.
A board of five trustees with historical knowledge of the bombing reviews all policies and financial reports, she said. Additionally, the community foundation's funds are audited annually, and the bombing fund was audited by the IRS in 1998, she said.
See the Tulsa World's complete story at www.tulsaworld.com