CHARDON -- The Chardon Healing Fund will remain open indefinitely to support the long-term healing of students, families and the community.
Experts have predicted there will be a long road to recovery in wake of the Feb. 27 Chardon High School shooting.
"The outpouring of support has been nothing short of amazing," said Jenniffer Deckard, president of Fairmount Minerals and chair of the Chardon Healing Fund advisory board. "But there's still a need for more support. We don't want to lose the momentum behind this important cause. We know the healing will take a long time, and the fund plans to be there every step of the way."
The Chardon Healing Fund invites members of the community to learn about Alternative Healing Methods at the middle school and upcoming community fundraising events that will benefit the nonprofit.
- Sat. May 19: The Northeast Ohio Jeep and 4x4 Road Rally to Support the Chardon Healing Fund: open to all vehicles, Westside start at 4 Wheel Parts, 10865 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland, 8:00 a.m.; Eastside start, Adventure Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 36845 Euclid Ave., Willoughby, 9:30 a.m.; Downtown Willoughby Rib Burn Off, noon-5:00 p.m.; 50/50 Benefit Raffle, Redhawk Grille, 7481 Auburn Rd., Painesville, 5:00 p.m.-close. Info.: www.adventurecjd.com/jeep-road-rally.htmWed.
- Sun. July 22: Singing Angels benefit concert: Lakeland Community College, 7700 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland, 4:00 p.m. Info.: ChardonHealingFund@usa.com
If you or your organization would like to make the Chardon Healing Fund the beneficiary of your fundraiser, contact the United Way Services of Geauga County at www.uwsgc.org for a third party fundraising agreement.
Business and individuals can make a donation to the fund at any PNC bank office or by contacting UWSGC.
"The schools can't do this by themselves, and the mental health system can't do this by themselves," said Kimm Leininger, executive director of UWSGC. "We're not working in silos -- we're doing this together."
The Chardon Healing Fund is led by a volunteer advisory board of 11 community members -- including Chardon graduates, business leaders and public officials -- that ensures all funds are appropriately allocated.
The UWSGC has volunteered to handle all of the Chardon Healing Fund's administrative duties. Without UWSGC's help, the fund wouldn't be able to dedicate its funds for direct community support.
The Chardon Healing Fund reserves 100 percent of all donated funds for the benefit of victims, their families, students and the community. The fund has received over $787,500 in donations to date.
The fund has been in close communications with all six victims' families, and approximately $85,270 has already been paid out or committed to the six families or for community-healing efforts since the fund was established in February.
The fund, for instance, has paid for the installation of wheelchair ramps, rental of a wheelchair-accessible van for daily use and a wheelchair-accessible limousine for transportation to the school prom for one student who is now confined to a wheelchair and living expenses of the families directly impacted -- providing them with the time they need to grieve.
The fund's donations have also been used to support school district parent nights and events featuring guest speakers and therapeutic outings that reinforce long-term healing.
The fund invites supporters to like its Facebook page to stay connected and receive its latest updates.
Anyone with questions about the fund or how to help can email ChardonHealingFund@usa.com or call the UWSGC offices directly at 440-285-2261.