News release

Committee Struck to Disburse Swissair Relief Donations

Hours after the crash of Swissair Flight 111, representatives from the departments of Health and Community Services, the Emergency Measures Organization and the Canadian Red Cross gathered to discuss ways to co-ordinate their responses to the tragedy.

A steering committee was immediately struck and has since been co-ordinating the activities of all agencies through the emergency operation centre at the Red Cross Building on Gottingen Street in Halifax. This committee recently recognized a need to identify criteria that will guide the disbursement of a donation fund now totally more than $25,000.

In response to this need, a donation management committee is being established. It will comprise representatives from the Red Cross, the departments of Community Services, Health, and Economic Development and Tourism, a fishermen's group, the municipality, the Lunenburg Community Regional Health Board, and the local community, business sector and clergy. The committee will conduct a needs assessment to assist in developing the parameters for distribution of this growing fund.

"The outpouring of support from corporations and the general public to the family members of those lost on Swissair Flight 111 has been overwhelming," said John L. Byrne, regional director for the Canadian Red Cross. "Nova Scotians have responded to this tragedy with such generosity and compassion. The Swissair fund is another display of their continuing concern."

The Red Cross managed similar funds when the ice storm hit early this year in Quebec and Ontario and when floodwaters destroyed homes and properties in Manitoba. In the event of a declared disaster, Red Cross is prepared to act as a co-ordinator of donations. In the case of Swissair, this co-ordination includes such things as cash management and the deployment of donated goods and services.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Swissair Relief Fund can do so at a Red Cross branch, or by calling 902-426-1050.



Michelle LaVigne
Canadian Red Cross, Nova Scotia Region 902-424-1430
ngr                    Oct. 21, 1998                 4:38 p.m.