Fort McMurray Wildfire Relief Fund – Rotary District 5370
Submitted by Jackie Hobal, Rotary Coordinator, Zone 24 West
 
It’s been a horrific time in Northern Alberta seeing a beautiful community decimated by “The Beast”, a wildfire that is still out of control in N. Alberta and threatening B.C. and Saskatchewan borders.  More than 90.000 residents have been evacuated from the city.  Many Rotarians have lost their homes; thankfully there have been only two casualties as a result of fleeing the fire.
 
It has been just 5 years this month that fire devastated the City of Slave Lake and the memory of the floods in High River and Calgary are fresh.  So are the strategies for providing support.
 
Message to Rotarians from DG Tim Schilds
I am sure that you are all on alert trying to figure out how you can best assist our friends in Fort McMurray in their time of need.  This afternoon I had a conversation with some of the Rotary leaders from the community.  First and foremost they are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they have received from throughout the Rotary world and wanted me to express their gratitude.
 
In the short term most of their needs are being taken care of by The Red Cross and similar emergency response organizations.  They are aware of the offers of help from throughout the district and have shared that with all of their club members.  They will be sure to direct anyone in need of help either to a local Rotary club or the District office where we will make sure their needs are taken care of.
 
What I heard today is that the biggest need will be in the medium to long term once they are back in their homes and can assess what is needed.  That's where Rotary comes in!  What we do best is stay in for the long term and help through projects and donations once the needs are determined.  I promised all Rotarians from Fort McMurray that Rotary International will be there to help them as long as it takes to get them going again.  That is where we need your support.  If you are planning to make a cash donation please do so through the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation “Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund”.  Donations are eligible for a Canadian tax-deductible receipt and will be disbursed in accordance with the wishes of an advisory committee made up of Fort McMurray residents (including Rotarians). You can make your donation by mailing a cheque to:
 
 
 
The Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation has established the “Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund” to assist in the rebuilding of that city following this tragic fire.  The Charitable Foundation is now ready to accept donations, for which tax receipts will be issued.  The Foundation will rely on an independent committee of Fort McMurray stakeholders (including the Rotary clubs and the municipality) for advice on disbursal of the funds. 
 
Donations may be from individuals or corporations.  Rotary clubs may wish to facilitate this process by collecting donations, and then forwarding either the individual cheques or a cheque drawn on the club’s account for the total amount, along with a list of the donors and their addresses and postal codes.
 
Please make cheques payable to:  "Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation" and forward to:
 
Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation
c/o Rotary District 5370 Office
16030 – 104 Ave.. NW
Edmonton AB    T5P 0S3
 
Please annotate cheques “Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund”
 
If you wish to make a donation using a charge card, you may do so using ATB Cares.  ATB matches donations with an additional 15%.  Here’s the link:
 
 
All donations made through ATB cares flow through to the Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation's Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund. Many thanks!  Julius Buski, President, Rotary District 5370 Charitable Foundation