SOURCE: Volunteer Florida Foundation

March 01, 2007 14:00 ET

Florida Disaster Recovery Fund Names Tornado Recovery Grantees

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Donates $25,000 to Fund

TAVARES, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 1, 2007 -- Volunteer Florida Foundation, manager of the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund, announced today the designation of two long-term recovery organizations the Fund will support in fulfilling unmet needs of the Feb. 2 tornado survivors. Initial administrative grants in the amount of $25,000 each were announced for Lake and Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER) and Volusia Interfaith/Agency Network in Disaster (VIND), to fund start-up of long-term recovery plans.

"Just 27 days after this terrible disaster, we are pleased that two strong organizations have emerged to lead long-term recovery with the support of the communities they serve," said Liza McFadden, President/CEO of Volunteer Florida Foundation. "Long-term recovery takes years and this is the first step in our commitment to ensure that the groups who will be there through the long haul have support for their infrastructure. Other grants from this Fund will be targeted through a competitive process in coming months as greatest unmet needs are determined."

Said VIND President David Troxler: "We are pleased to gain the support of the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund, as we begin the long and arduous process of recovery. We are committed to forming and implementing the best plan for our neighbors in Volusia." VIND was established in 2001, and is a coalition of faith-based and community organizations. VIND promotes networking to prepare Volusia County's communities for the effects of disaster, and in the aftermath, facilitates long-term practical aid. VIND's plan will also include assistance to survivors of the Christmas Day tornadoes.

LASER Chairman Michael Tart said: "It is with tremendous commitment that we forge ahead with long-term recovery in Lake and Sumter counties. Although our organization is new, we have the full participation and support of county governments, immediate response organizations, our faith- and community-based organizations, and thankfully, this Fund." LASER's mission is to strengthen Lake and Sumter counties recovery from any disaster through a coordinated community approach, which provides for the immediate and long-term unmet needs of citizens.

The announcement was made at Greater Lake County Association of Realtors office in Tavares and coincided with a check presentation to the Fund from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wal-Mart representatives Mark Barker, Market Manager, and Quenta Vettel, Senior Manager of Public Affairs, presented $25,000 to the Fund.

Wal-Mart joins a growing list of concerned business leaders and donors who together have pledged a total of $385,563 to the Fund. Corporate pledges include: Indianapolis Colts and owner Jim Irsay, $100,000; 2007 Florida Inaugural Committee, $63,750; AT&T and Progress Energy Florida, $50,000 each; BP Foundation, $25,000; and at $10,00 each, Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Darden Restaurants, The Home Depot, and Windstorm Insurance Network.

More funds are needed and all donations are tax-deductible.

About the Fund

The Florida Disaster Recovery Fund, formerly the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, was founded in 2004 to provide assistance to Florida's disaster survivors for long-term recovery. The fund, managed by Volunteer Florida Foundation, works with nonprofit organizations in affected communities, keeping decision-making about the Fund's use on the local level. All donations to the Fund are tax-deductible (Florida charitable registration #8536). Donations can be made securely online by visiting or by calling 1-800-825-3786. Checks are also accepted and can be made payable to the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund and mailed to Volunteer Florida Foundation, 401 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Fonda Anderson