Seminole Tribe Donates $250K to South Florida Condo Collapse Relief Fund

Posted on: July 3, 2021, 11:50h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2021, 07:02h.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has contributed $250,000 to a relief fund set up for victims of the South Florida condo building collapse.

Seminole Tribe Florida condo collapse
Search and rescue teams comb through the Surfside, Fl., partially collapsed condo building. The Seminole Tribe of Florida has donated $250,000 to the victims. (Image: CNN)

On June 24 at approximately 1:25 am ET, a 12-story residential building with 136 units partially collapsed in Surfside, Fl. Search and rescue efforts continue, but 24 people have been found dead in the rubble, and 124 remain missing.

The Seminole Tribe, which predominantly relies on its six casinos throughout the state for its economic prosperity, is stepping up to assist its neighbors in their time of need. Surfside and the Champlain Towers South condos are less than 15 miles from the tribe’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. 

“This is a terrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to the many people affected by it,” said Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. “The Seminole Tribe pledges to marshal our resources and do everything we can to help.”

The Seminoles gave $250,000 to the Support Surfside Fund, which is being organized by the Coral Gables Community Foundation, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, and Miami Foundation.

Fund Impact

The Support Surfside Fund is available for all impacted families. The fund says specific qualifications and guidelines for distributions are currently being crafted.

In the meantime, the fund is issuing $2,500 prepaid gift cards to survivors, and $500 cards to family members who are traveling into town to await word on their loved ones.

The Support Surfside Fund says it has distributed more than $72,000 in prepaid cards to 130 individuals who have been directly impacted by the June 24 tragedy. 

Today, officials announced that the remaining building of the partially collapsed condo complex will be demolished. That decision comes as a result of approaching Tropical Storm Elsa. 

If the building is taken down, this will protect our search and rescue teams, because we don’t know when it could fall over,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said at a news conference. “And, of course, with these gusts, potentially that would create a really severe hazard.”

Elisa was downgraded Saturday morning from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm. But that classification still comes with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The weather system is expected to hit the Miami area on Tuesday morning.

Seminole Donations

The Seminole Tribe regularly contributes to a variety of good causes. But one of its largest charitable endeavors is its Boys & Girls Club. The Seminoles operate four clubs on its reservations in Hollywood, Brighton, Immokalee, and Big Cypress.  

The Seminole Tribe also uses its casino money to further political efforts that it supports. 

In 2018, the Seminoles — along with The Walt Disney Company — combined to spend $10 million on an effort to strip state lawmakers of their powers to decide gaming expansion measures. Amendment 3 easily passed, with more than 71 percent of Floridians saying new casino gambling should only come by way of a citizen-initiated ballot effort.