LEWISTON — The administrators of the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund are moving forward with their work to distribute donations for the victims and families of the Oct. 25 mass shooting at Just-In-Time Recreation and Schemengees Bar & Grille.

The donations are being collected and distributed by the Maine Community Foundation, or MaineCF, which has selected a nationally recognized administrator, Jeff Dion, guided by a local steering committee of 13 local citizens, with Lewiston architect Tom Platz serving as the steering committee chair.

MaineCF announced Nov. 16 that it had received $1.8 million for the fund, $1.3 million of which would go directly to the Lewiston-Auburn Victims & Families Fund, as specifically designated by donors, with the rest going toward broader community needs.

The group published a draft protocol to guide the process and is seeking to finalize the document by Dec. 12 and post it to its website, www.mainecf.org/Lewiston.

Jeff Dion, executive director of the National Compassion Fund, discusses the process Nov. 16 for determining eligibility for donations and how they will be distributed to those affected by the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston. Seated with him, from left, are foundation Chairwoman Adilah Muhammad, MaineCF CEO Deborah Ellwood and Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund Steering Committee Chairman Tom Platz. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

A town hall is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Lewiston Middle School auditorium at 75 Central Ave. and anyone is invited to ask questions, suggest changes and offer feedback to the steering committee and the fund administrators.

Key takeaways from the draft protocol include who is eligible to receive funds, which the steering committee suggests be limited to the following four categories of people: Legal heirs of those killed in the shootings, those physically injured with a gunshot wound in the shootings, those who suffered some type of other injury during the shootings, and anyone present at the time of the shootings who suffered psychological trauma.


The committee has outlined some key dates moving forward:

• Dec. 12: Posting of final protocol.

• Jan. 5, 2024: Online application for relief available at MaineCF website.

• Jan. 30: Deadline for all online applications to be filed for relief.

• Feb. 20: Fund closes to all donations.

• March 7: Approval of funds distribution plan by steering committee.


• March 14: Distribution of payments begins.

Emergency distributions are available for applicants of heirs of victims killed and victims who were hospitalized overnight. The sums will be deducted from the final distribution amount.

Details on how to apply, who is eligible and what documentation is needed are all contained in the draft protocol. Comments or feedback can be submitted online until the town hall event.

The draft protocol is available at mainecf.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Draft-Protocol-Published.pdf, or navigate to mainecf.org and click on Town Hall under the Events link.

The town hall will be livestreamed on MaineCF Facebook page.

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