The Support Surfside Compassion Fund – a collaboration between the Coral Gables Community Foundation, The Key Biscayne Foundation and The Miami Foundation – has established a steering committee in conjunction with The National Compassion Fund, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that distributes charitable contributions in the aftermath of mass casualty events. The steering committee is responsible for setting the distribution policy for funds collected to benefit those impacted by the tragic collapse of the Champlain Tower South building in Surfside, Florida on June 24, 2021.
The community, business, and civic leaders who will volunteer their time on the Steering Committee include:
|Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón||President Emeritus, Miami Dade College|
|Marshall Ames||Chair, The Lennar Foundation|
|Sheldon Anderson||President, Grove Bank and Trust|
|Rebecca Fishman Lipsey||President, The Miami Foundation|
|James Haj||President, The Children’s Trust|
|Thomas Hoyer||Treasurer, Stand with Parkland|
|Rabbi Julie Jacobs||Beth David Congregation|
|Tova Kreps||President, Wellspring Counseling, LCSW|
|David Lawrence Jr.||Founder, The Children’s Movement of Florida|
|Carlos Migoya||CEO, Jackson Health|
|Leslie Miller Saiontz||Founder, Achieve Miami|
|Felipe Pinzon||Executive Director, Hispanic Unity|
|Hank Raatama||Partner, Akerman Law Firm|
|Mary Snow||President, Coral Gables Community Foundation|
|Jacob Solomon||CEO, Greater Miami Jewish Federation|
|Rev. Juan Sosa||St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Surfside|
|Steve Stowe||Vice President and Executive Director, Miami HEAT Charitable Fund|
|Melissa White||President, Key Biscayne Community Foundation|
|Maria C. Alonso||President and CEO, The United Way of Miami-Dade|
|Jesse Marks||Executive Director, Miami Dolphins Foundation|
|Patrick Morris||Director of Civic and Philanthropic Partnerships, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava|
|Alex Villoch||CEO, Baptist Health Foundation|
|Svia Bension, Zushi Litkowski, Efraim Stefansky||EZS Events, Fundraised for Surfside through The Chesed Fund|
What is the role of the steering committee?
The all-volunteer steering committee will be responsible for creating the distribution policy for funds collected through the Support Surfside Fund. They are working diligently to continue to raise funds for the victims, families, and those impacted.
Why was Dr. Eduardo Padrón selected as steering committee chair?
Dr. Padrón is an outstanding community leader known for his integrity, strategic thinking, compassion, and commitment to Greater Miami. From 1995, he served as President of Miami Dade College, the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 165,000 students. An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Florida and is widely recognized as one of the top educational leaders in the world. During his career he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American presidents. In 2016, Dr. Padrón received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his decades of work in making higher education both accessible and inclusive. We are fortunate to have him serve as our steering committee chair.
How was the steering committee selected?
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a steering committee has been selected to distribute funds in the wake of a horrific tragedy. We consulted with the National Center for Victims of Crime, which has assisted victims of many recent tragedies, including Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school, and the Walmart Shooting in El Paso, Texas, for guidance on who in the community should be on the steering committee. The steering committee is comprised of business, community and faith leaders in our community who are volunteering their time. The list of steering committee names is available on this page. The steering committee will not only be responsible for advising and structuring the Fund’s allocation and distribution policy, they will also work diligently to continue to raise funds for the victims, families, survivors and those impacted by the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida. Fundraising will continue until November 15, 2021
When and where is the first meeting?
We are at the beginning of a very complex process. Having just announced the steering committee members, our next step is to set a meeting. This will be a very difficult meeting as sensitive matters will be discussed. We will work closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime to establish a series of protocols, procedures and timelines for distributing the money and will then take public comment.
What criteria will the steering committee use in determining who will get funded and with how much?
We will work closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime to establish a series of protocols, procedures and timelines for distributing the funds. We will share this with the public and welcome their input.
Are the steering committee meeting(s) open to the public / the media?
The steering committee will publicly share the protocols for this fund for public input and will host a town hall to invite feedback. The public will have input into the draft protocol that the steering committee, assisted by the National Center for Victims of Crime, will develop.
What if the public does not agree with your protocols, procedures and timelines?
The goal is to help the Surfside victims, families, survivors and those impacted as much as possible, as quickly, efficiently and fairly as possible. We take this responsibility very seriously and are committed to doing what is right for all involved. There is no amount of money in this world that will erase the memory of that day nor bring back what was lost. The fund is designated for victims and families to use the funds as they see fit. We will also continue to offer all the emotional support that we can as a community.
How much funding is available?
As of July 20, 2021, we have raised a total of more than $4.6 million. We continue to raise funds for the victims’ families, survivors and those impacted. Fundraising will continue until November 15, 2021. 100% of the funds will be distributed to victims and families.
Who are the major donors?
Logos of the main corporate donors are featured on the homepage of SupportSurfside.org. Other donors are individuals from all parts of the world. We are extremely grateful to all of the donors- large and small- and to the local businesses that have hosted and continue to host fundraisers for the Surfside victims, families, survivors and those impacted by this tragedy. We are inspired by the outpouring of compassion, generosity and support in our community and our country.
When will the funding be distributed?
The timeline will be decided by the steering committee when it first meets. All updates will be made public through this website.