Committee Struck to Disburse Swissair Relief Donations

Department of Health (To Jan. 11)

October 21, 1998 4:38 PM

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.

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Contact: Michelle LaVigne
         Canadian Red Cross, Nova Scotia Region
         902-424-1430

ngr                 Oct. 21, 1998                 4:38 p.m.