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Mayors urge public to donate to flood relief fund

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Staff Report
Published Oct. 29, 2015

The mayors of Richland and Lexington counties, as well as those from Sumter and Camden, joined Thursday to urge public support for flood relief efforts.

Speaking at Columbia’s Riverfront Park, just yards away from the Columbia Canal breach during this month’s historic flood, the mayors spoke out for Central Carolina Community Foundation’s S.C. Flood Relief Fund. The nonprofit’s fund gives 100% of all donations to local, nonprofit organizations providing Midlands flood relief.

In addition, the Lipscomb family – a longtime foundation partner – will match all gifts to the fund up to $100,000, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said.

"The Thousand-Year Flood destroyed roads and bridges, breached dams and washed away homes across the Midlands and beyond leaving countless families displaced,” Benjamin said. “The waters didn't care if you lived in Columbia, Forest Acres or Cayce, Richland County or Lexington and it's going to take all of us coming together as one community if we're ever going to truly recover."

Said Cayce Mayor Elise Partin, “It's important that as mayors we stand together on the rebuilding process, because we are one region. We work, live, play and shop in all parts of the Midlands, and as a forum of mayors from cities across this region, we speak with one voice in asking for individuals and businesses to recognize the long-term needs that affect us as a whole – and to help make a difference.”

Phase I grants, which will fund relief and recovery assistance programs, will begin next week for 501c3 nonprofit organizations or those with a 501c3 fiscal agent. These organizations may request up to $25,000 through a request for proposal, the foundation said. Preference will be given to applicant organizations in FEMA-declared disaster areas, it noted.

Community Foundation Board of Trustees members and an advisory committee consisting of both community members and those of the Regional Mayors Forum will form the review committee. Foundation partners have provided an additional $400,000 in specific grants for relief.

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