Flood relief fund grows to $650K, but still 'way short'

The Thunder Bay disaster relief fund has swelled to more than $650,000 now that the Red Cross and Salvation Army have officially transferred the money they collected.

Disaster Relief Committee chair says they will be at public events to collect donations

From left, Wayne Fletcher, Disaster Relief Committee Chair, Mike Thompson, President of the United Way of Thunder Bay, Ken Widdifield, Disaster Management Co-ordinator of the Red Cross and Major Merv Halvorsen of The Salvation Army announce the flood relief fund is growing. (City of Thunder Bay)

The Thunder Bay disaster relief fund has swelled to more than $650,000 now that the Red Cross and Salvation Army have officially transferred the money they collected.

Wayne Fletcher, chair of the disaster relief committee, said the fund is growing, but it still needs donations.

"We're approaching about $700,000 … at this point," Fletcher said. "I'd like to stress that that's still probably going to be way short, even with matching funds."

Money donated to the fund will be matched at a ratio of two-to-one by the province.

The United Way has also started taking donations for the fund, and donated $10,000 Thursday morning. The disaster fund was seeded with $500,000 from the city, however that contribution is not eligible for matching funding from Ontario.

Fletcher said the committee will ask for donations at several city-run events this summer. He said volunteers will be at Canada Day celebrations this weekend, collecting contributions.  People can also expect to see them at the weekly Summer in the Parks concerts and at the Blues Fest.

"We'll have a tent, so people can give at those things," he said.

Fletcher noted the committee will also approach corporations and other potentially large donors for money.