Officials of a foundation holding $10 million in funds donated for the benefit of Oklahoma City bombing survivors say they believe giving the money to survivors would be a blunder, reports the Oklahoman.“No. 1, I do not think it would be legal. No. 2, I do not think it would be in the best interest of the people,” said Nancy Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, which oversees the Disaster Relief Fund, commonly known as the bombing fund.
For the past 17 years, the fund has been providing assistance for medical expenses, mental health counseling, living expenses and education costs for survivors and family members of individuals killed or critically injured in the April 19, 1995, bombing. The explosion resulted in 168 deaths and injured hundreds more. More than $40 million in donations flooded into various Oklahoma organizations after the disaster. Much of the money was quickly spent, but about $14.6 million eventually was consolidated into a fund for the long-term needs of bombing survivors. About $11 million for the benefit of 962 individuals through 16,256 transactions, but the fund still has about $10 million. Controversy has erupted recently among survivors, some of whom have been calling for the foundation to distribute its $10 million in remaining bombing funds. Adding fuel to the controversy is a February memo that Anthony and two colleagues wrote to foundation and fund trustees recommending that $4.4 million of investment earnings from bombing funds be set aside for purposes that would not directly benefit survivors.