Committee to distribute funds for Jacksonville mass shooting victims

Video game company donates $1M for Jacksonville Tribute Fund

By Francine Frazier - Senior web producer

JACKSONVILLE - The Jacksonville Tribute Fund established by Electronic Arts in the wake of an August mass shooting during a video game tournament at The Jacksonville Landing will be administered by a steering committee announced this month by the National Compassion Fund.

The National Compassion Fund distributes charitable contributions in the aftermath of mass-casualty events.

EA, which sponsored the Landing "Madden NFL 19" tournament where a gunman opened fire, killing two rival gamers, kickstarted the fund with a $1 million donation to the victims of the mass shooting.

Ten others were injured at the Good Luck Have Fun game bar inside Chicago Pizza when a 24-year-old from Baltimore shot up the qualifying tournament. He took his own life afterward, police said.

EA is among several defendants named in multiple lawsuits over the shooting.

EA said the funds will go to the families of the slain gamers -- Taylor Robertson and Elijah Clayton -- and "all those who were affected."

EA says 100 percent of funds collected in the GoFundMe account will go directly to the victims and their families and will be overseen by the National Compassion Fund, at nonprofit that has performed the same service for other communities affected by similar tragedies.

The National Compassion Fund announced the list of community, business and civic leaders who will volunteer their time on the steering committee. The committee includes:

  • Barabara Alexander, Executive Director, Exchange Club Family Center
  • Deborah Davis, Senior Counsel, Electronic Arts Inc.
  • Zach Farley, Global Player Engagement Lead Electronic Arts Inc.
  • Jay Howell, Attorney and Victim Advocate
  • Linda Levin, CEO, ElderSource
  • Lt. Sharon Scott, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Eric Smith, Former President, Jacksonville City Council
  • Sheila Spivey, Sr. Director UNF Women’s Center

“The steering committee in collaboration with the National Compassion Fund, is publishing a series of protocols and timelines for distributing the funds. We will take public comment during a town hall meeting on October 18th at the Prime Osborn Convention Center,” said Smith. “We take this responsibility very seriously and are committed to doing what is right for all involved.”

Victims and survivors with questions can call 1-855-4VICTIM, or send an email to jacksonville@victimsofcrime.org

The National Compassion Fund has assisted victims of many recent tragedies, including Orlando, Las Vegas, and Parkland.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time a steering committee has had to be established to distribute funds in the wake of a horrific tragedy, but this committee is important so that we can ensure that 100% of the funds go to the victims in a fair manner” said Jeff Dion, Executive Director of the National Compassion Fund. “We are very fortunate to have Eric Smith as the chair and to have dedicated steering committee members who are volunteering their time, resources and expertise. Our goal is to help the victims and families as much as possible and as quickly, efficiently and fairly as possible.”

To donate to the Jacksonville Tribute Fund, click here.

Corporate or personal check donations designated in the memo line for the “Jacksonville Tribute Fund” also can be sent directly to National CompassionFund, 1450 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

A town hall meeting was held from 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Jacksonville Convention Center at 1000 Water St. to discuss how to divide up the donations. 

Families of the men killed can get $10,000 right away. Those who were injured are eligible for $5,000 immediately. Beyond that, funds will be divided up among other claims by the end of the year. 

Applications must be submitted by Nov. 27. The online application system will be available at NationalCompassionFund.org.

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