Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dollars Pour in to Help Victims of Sugar Blast; Fund Collects Donations of Up to $250,000

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dollars Pour in to Help Victims of Sugar Blast; Fund Collects Donations of Up to $250,000

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL ATKINS

SAVANNAH - A New York man who spends his winters in Savannah walked into the United Way office on Bull Street on Friday afternoon and handed over a $15,000 check.

Hours earlier, the two families of former sugar refinery leaders donated $250,000 to the cause.

These are just two of many large-scale contributions to the Sugar Refinery Family Support Fund, created to defray expenses for victims of the Feb. 7 Imperial Sugar Co. refinery explosion and their families.

United Way officials have been fielding donations - ranging from a few dollars to a quarter million - by the hour, and the outpouring of generosity has come from all directions, said Gregg Schroeder, president of United Way of the Coastal Empire.

"He came in and said he had grown to love this community," Schroeder said of Jim Fallen, the benefactor of Friday's unexpected donation. "He wanted to do it to advance the common good."

Also last week, 12 area banks pledged to support the relief fund, and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. donated $25,000 to the effort.

That's in addition to earlier gifts of $250,000 from the Chatham Foundation, $100,000 from Colonial Oil and Enmark Stations, and $10,000 from Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc.

Piggly Wiggly also is taking register-side donations at all its locations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The stores pulled in $12,844.73 in the first week.

"This was an unexpected disaster, and we wanted to chip in to alleviate both the financial hardships and some of the suffering that's being encountered by the victims and their families," said Greg Dziuban, director of employee and community services at Gulfstream. "It's in the spirit of giving to the overall community."

The United Way is working with the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross to determine how best to allocate the money. …

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