Vt. Disaster Relief Fund hits $1.7M; new ad campaign planned

MONTPELIER – Money keeps coming into the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund – some of it on roller skates, according to Chris Graff, a board member at the new nonprofit that manages the fund.

The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, one of the largest pots of money devoted to flood recovery, continues to compile cash; it had $1.3 million about five weeks ago and now has $1.7 million, said Graff.

The most recent large donation, which was for $120,000, came from the Argosy Foundation, said Graff.

But smaller donations from fundraisers at City Market in Burlington, a community theater, and even a roller derby “bout” have also helped add to the fund, said Graff.

“It is remarkable the extent and breadth of the donations that are coming in,” said Graff.

But the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, which manages the disaster relief fund, also plans to unroll an advertising campaign in the coming weeks to keep the need for donations in the spotlight, said Graff.

“We've been talking to some large donors, but we plan to expand that and actually do a much more visible campaign to reach all Vermonters and make them understand that for many people Tropical Storm Irene may be in the rearview mirror, but it's not for all flood victims, and the unmet needs are going to be huge,” said Graff.

— Thatcher Moats

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