FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer sit at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., after 26 people were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Newtown officials and families of those killed have given away 63,790 stuffed animals and thousands of other gifts that poured into the town in the weeks following the massacre. The final boxes of toys and school supplies were shipped out of the warehouse on March 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation plans by May 23 to distribute $7.7 million to the 40 families most severely impacted by the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and public meetings will be held about distributing the funds.
Twenty students and six educators were killed in the shooting.
The committee, after meetings with families, decided to provide one, all-inclusive disbursement rather than an initial disbursement followed by future disbursements. The amount to be distributed has increased from $4 million to $7.7 million, which is a majority of the fund.
The distribution committee will hold two public hearings in Newtown to gather public input on the distribution.
One will take place on Tuesday May 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday May 8, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A location is yet to be determined
Retired Federal Judge Alan Nevas will serve as chairman of the distribution committee.
Newtown residents Dr. John Woodall, founder and director of The Unity Project, a resilience-building program for youth; and Joe Smialowski, a senior executive at Citigroup, are members of the committee and Attorney Kenneth Feinberg will serve as special advisor to the committee. None will receive compensation.
“Throughout his distinguished career Judge Nevas has been known for his thoughtfulness, fairness and integrity. In our meetings with the families of those most severely impacted by the events of 12/14, the one thing we heard more than any other was their desire to have an independent third party involved in the process. The inclusion of Judge Nevas on this distribution committee with Dr. Woodall and Joe Smialowski is in keeping with the Foundation’s by-laws and brings a qualified, unimpeachable third party into the process,” Dr. Charles Herrick, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said in a statement.
"I am honored to assist the distribution committee in designing and administering a compensation program. My sole objective is to distribute available compensation by May 23, 2013 to all eligible claimants without any restriction or precondition,” Feinberg said. “I look forward to working closely with the committee in their efforts to help the healing process for the families most severely impacted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the greater Newtown community.”