The Odessa Chamber of Commerce and its board of directors and employees are heartbroken with the tragic events that occurred in our city on August 31. This senseless tragedy has shaken us at our foundation. But, as Odessans, we pull together in our time of need. If you would like to contribute to the victims and their families affected by this sad event, we have established a PayPal account to assist families affected.

August 31st Protocol

       

Odessa Community Foundation

ODESSA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, INC. AUGUST 31, 2019 TRAGEDY.

Draft Protocol – November 25, 2019

The Odessa Community Foundation Fund (“Fund”) includes donations from generous businesses, foundations, and individual donors from all over the country.  The Fund will assist the innocent victims of the August 31, 2019 shooting in Odessa, Texas (“Odessa Attack”) including the estates of the seven deceased, as well as the 25 victims who were hospitalized.  The Odessa Community Foundation (“OCF”) is a 50l(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Federal Tax ID #75-2857160.

The Fund protocol has been created and approved by a Task Force established for the purpose of distributing 100% of the contributions received to the innocent victims of the Odessa Attack.  The Task Force will incorporate feedback from the general public; including those present at the Town Hall meeting to be held by the OCF on December 4, 2019 from 5:30pm to 7pm at Odessa College Zant Room (Located  on 2nd floor of the Saulsbury Campus Center) 

The financial benefits paid by the Fund are a GIFT to which no person has a legal claim or entitlement. All aspects of this Protocol including the distribution criteria, timetable, and amounts to be awarded, may be revised, and are subject to the full and complete discretion of the Task Force. 

All but one of the 25 hospitalized victims have received an initial payment.  The Task Force is still seeking to contact  that victim.  The Estates of the deceased are able to receive an initial or full payment once an Executor or Administrator of the estate has been appointed by a Probate Court.  Remaining funds will be distributed after January 10, 2020, which is the final date to donate to the Fund.  If the victim is a minor under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must apply on the victim’s behalf. 

The payments from the Fund are to be apportioned to the victims in accordance with the number of hospital days arising from the Odessa Attack.

Determination of the amounts for each eligible recipient will depend upon the following: (1) the balance in the Fund on January 10, 2020;

(2) the receipt of official medical data regarding the number of hospitalized days, and

(3) review and approval by the Task Force.

The Distribution classifications are outlined below:

 CATEGORIES OF ELIGIBLE RECIPIENTS

A.    Death Benefits

The Estates for the seven innocent deceased as a result of the Odessa Attack will receive a payment under the scope of this Protocol. A final payment determination will be made upon receipt of all pertinent data and is subject to all comments above.

B.    Victims Requiring Overnight Hospitalization

The 25 victims who were treated and released or hospitalized for one or more nights starting on August 31, 2019 due to physical injuries resulting from the Odessa Attack will receive payment under the Final Protocol.

PROCESS AND PROCEDURES

Eligible recipients must submit:

Official medical data regarding the number of hospitalized days including admit and discharge days to receive a payment from the Fund. This information must be submitted by January 10, 2020. The application will provide the opportunity to specify whether they are seeking benefits for a deceased victim or benefits for physical injuries. 

The process and procedures for consideration of eligible applications will be as follows:

A.   The Final Protocol will be emailed to all known victims who have provided the necessary information to the OCF.  The Final Protocol will also be available on the Odessa Chamber website (www.odessachamber.com) beginning on December 6, 2019. Questions regarding the required documentation can be sent via email to renee@odessachamber.com or by calling 432-333-7855.   

B.    In the event that an eligible recipient submits incomplete required documentation, a  

representative from the OCF office will make every effort to send an e-mail notification or make a phone call to the recipient to cure any such deficiencies.

C.    Payments will be issued shortly after the deadline for submission of all contributions

and the final review and determination of all eligible recipients’ documentation by the Task Force and final payment determinations for approval of payments to each eligible recipient

D.   Information filed for a deceased victim requires a duly appointed Estate Executor or Estate Administrator who is eligible to receive the funds under the local probate law of the jurisdiction where the deceased victim was domiciled. Under those circumstances, where a dispute arises between claimants to the estate of a deceased victim, the OCF may withhold funds until an agreement is reached, or deposit the affected funds with the registry of the Probate Court having jurisdiction to be held in a separate account, and will  distributed only upon resolution in accordance with a valid court order.

E.    For funds pertaining to a minor child, the information must be submitted and signed by a parent or legal guardian.  In the event a dispute arises between parents or relatives of a minor child, the OCF shall withhold funds until an enforceable agreement between the disputing parties is entered into.  Any such agreement must include a release of OCF.  

F.    An audit of the OCF will be conducted by an independent auditing firm after the end

of the fiscal year (September 30, 2020). The results of this audit will be made available in Spring 2021 to all interested parties upon request. 

OUTREACH

A. Contact information that is held by law enforcement is not shared with OCF, and there should be no assumption that anyone who is eligible will be contacted simply because they have shared their contact information with either law enforcement or the Texas Victims of Crime Compensation Program.  Therefore, the OCF has conducted outreach to victims of the Odessa Attack by telephone, mail, in person, media outreach and other forms of communication to provide them with information on the process, to answer questions. 

B. A public meeting will be conducted by the OCF Task Force on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 5:30pm to 7pm at Odessa College Zant Room, located on the 2nd floor of the Saulsbury Campus Center. At the meeting there will be an explanation of the Draft Protocol and the document submission process, and to invite input and comments from the general public. Information collected from these group meetings, various communications, and correspondence and the OCF/Task Force will be considered in finalizing the Final Protocol.

C. Once finalized, the Final Protocol will be disseminated to all known victims beginning on December 6, 2019.   The OCF will work directly with the victims or their legal representatives as requested so that documentation is submitted by the January 10, 2020 deadline.

D. Optional face-to-face or telephone meetings with the OCF will be scheduled at the  request. All victims or legal representative requesting meetings with the OCF will be afforded such a meeting and will be scheduled at mutually convenient times and locations.

PROPOSED TIMELINE

➢ August 31, 2019 – Odessa Shooting Occurs

➢ October 1, 2019 – First Task Force Meeting  

➢ October 11, 2019 – Initial check distribution begins for those who contacted the OCF

➢ October 22, 2019 – Second Meeting of Task Force; approve draft protocol

➢ November 20, 2019 – Press Conference and Draft Protocol distribution (on Chamber

     website and through media)

➢ December 4, 2019 – Town Hall Meeting

➢ December 6, 2019 – Public Comment Period Ends

➢ December 9, 2019 – Task Force meets to approve Final Protocol

➢ December 10, 2019 to January 10, 2020 – Final Protocol published on the Odessa

     Chamber website and emailed to all beneficiaries.  All requested in-person meetings to

     take place during this time.

➢ January 10, 2020 – Deadline for submission of documentation for Benefits completed

    and submitted to the Fund Task Force.

➢ January 20, 2020 – Deadline for contributions to Fund

➢ January 21, 2020: Documentation reviewed by the Task Force and Distribution Plan

    Approval.

➢ January 22, 2020: Payment Distribution to approved beneficiaries begins on a rolling

    basis.

➢ After September 30, 2020 (end of fiscal year):  Independent Audit