Earlier this week, local Denver news stations began reporting that victims of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting were going to hold a press conference. At the time there were no details given as to what the victims and their family members wanted to discuss. It is clearly known that the press conference was intended to get questions answered about the victims’ fund that has taken in over $5 million since the shooting.
The Community First Foundation, based in Arvada, Colorado, was established in 1975 to aid members of the local community in various adverse life circumstances. Community First is essentially a fund raising machine that works on behalf of local help agencies. Community First typically raises money and allocates the funds to hospitals and other health care agencies. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper asked Community First to raise funds on behalf of the shooting victims soon after the crime took place. Of the $5M raised by Community First, the sum of $350,000 has been given directly to shooting victims and survivors’ families. Reportedly, some of the remaining funds have been dispersed to 10 other non-profit agencies.
As money continues to pour in for shooting victims, the question has been asked of Community First “what happened to the rest of the money?” To those who are trying to put their lives back together, the math doesn’t add up. Victims have collectively received about 7% of the $5M collected.
Victims are experiencing financial issues stemming from this shooting, including hospital bills, travel expenses, rehabilitation expenses and standard living expenses. Those who have been unable to return to work are especially in need of funding.
According to victims and families of this tragedy, they are not being allowed to have any influence as to how this money is being spent. The money is simply being collected and controlled by the Community First Foundation.
Due to the nature of the crime, a gag order was issued by Arapahoe County Judge William Blair Sylvester. An investigation into why this heinous crime took place is still ongoing. The President of Community First, Marla Williams, conveyed to victims that due to this gag order, it was difficult to locate all those involved.
The Aurora shootings took place on July 20, 2012 during a showing of the new “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” movie. During a midnight premier of the movie, James Holmes burst into the theater and began a shooting spree. By the time authorities arrived, 12 people were killed and 58 were seriously wounded. Some victims are still in the hospital recovering from their injuries. Holmes is set to return to court August 30th and has not entered a plea in the long list of charges against him.
Community First Foundation