S.D. War Victims Fund raises more than $115,000

S.D. War Victims Fund raises more than $115,000 More than 400 people contributed to the South Dakota War Victims Fund that was started after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Gov. Bill Janklow said April 30.

They gave a total of $115, 663.37. "Hundreds of dollars came in on an almost daily basis. Whether a person was able to give a little or a lot, the generosity was truly remarkable," Janklow said.

A committee of nine South Dakotans was appointed by the governor to decide on the distribution.

"The group spent many hours discussing how to best use the money, recognizing the fact that millions of dollars have been given nationwide. They wanted to choose organizations that still needed help or were still working to help the unmet needs of others," Janklow said. The group chose the following recipients:

* $7,000 to equip the fire truck donated to New York City by Luverne Fire Apparatus of Brandon;

* $35,000 to the Armed Forces YMCA that is assisting families of enlisted military personnel who were casualties in the Pentagon attack;

* $35,000 to the 9/11 United Services Group, which provides assistance to those affected by the 9/11 attacks but are unable to receive help through other programs;

* $29,000 to Nino's, a family-owned restaurant in New York City that closed its doors to the public and is delivering meals to workers at the Ground Zero site. The family has spent more than $200,000 of its own money on the project. The restaurant is providing 1,000 to 2,000 meals daily through May; and

* $3,200 apiece to the James Valley Crisis Incident Strategic Management Team in Mitchell, the Catharsis CISM Team in Rapid City, and the Central SD CISM Team in Pierre. They had spent their own funds to travel to Ground Zero.

Members of the distribution committee are Jim Spies of Watertown; John Deniger of Huron; John Waltner of Freeman; Monsignor James Doyle of Sioux Falls; Bea Premack of Aberdeen; Donna Burns of Brookings; Mary Cullum of Custer; Christine Dunham of Norris; and Julio Espino of Sioux Falls. The project was coordinated by Bonnie Bjork, a senior aide to the governor.

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