By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
After raising more than $100,000 to help victims of the devastating April storms through a concerted fundraising effort, the CREATE Foundation is giving away about three-quarters of it.
Five checks will be distributed for a total of $75,000 from CREATE on Friday morning at a ceremony at the temporary school in Smithville, starting at 10:30.
Among the recipients are the city of Smithville, United Way of Monroe County, Salvation Army, Smithville School System and the Red Cross.
The June fundraiser, a partnership among Northeast Mississippi media outlets, was held at The Mall at Barnes Crossing and televised on WTVA. The event was originally set to raise $50,000, but that goal was doubled after a strong response from donors.
In August, CREATE President Mike Clayborne said more than $107,000 had been raised.
He said some of the money was specifically designated by most donors, but most of the money was unrestricted.
That gave flexibility to CREATE, the administrator of the fund, to determine how to best distribute the money.
The remaining money eventually will be distributed, said CREATE officials, who added that the recovery needs are long-term.
“We’re trying to respond to the needs of the services that are being delivered and also trying to address the needs of the future,” Clayborne said.