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LOCAL ORGANIZATION DONATES $70,000 TO BENEFIT VICTIMS OF WASHINGTON, DC-AREA SNIPER ATTACKS, CHALLENGES OTHER AREA BUSINESS TO DONATE

 Gaithersburg, MD (November 15, 2002) On behalf of its employees, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. announced today it has donated $70,000 to the Victims’ Rights Foundation to benefit the victims and families affected by the October 2002 sniper attacks. In donating, AmeriDream encourages other Washington, DC-area organizations and companies to contribute to the victims’ fund.

“Our employees felt that a donation would symbolize more than just financial support, since seven of the sniper shootings took place here in Montgomery County – six of them not far from AmeriDream’s headquarters,” said AmeriDream CEO Christopher Russell. “Like many others living and working in the Washington DC-area, our employees feared for their safety and the safety of their loved ones during that time. So we are proud to extend our support to help the families of those who were killed and to help pay the bills of the victims who were injured; and we would like to challenge other area businesses to do the same.”

AmeriDream’s $70,000 gift represents $5,000 for each of the families of the 14 victims killed or injured in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Victims’ Rights Foundation will distribute 100 percent of the funds directly to the families of the victims – Kenneth Bridges; James L. “Sonny” Buchanan; Pascal Charlot; Linda Franklin; Conrad Johnson; James D. Martin; Dean Harold Meyers; Sarah Ramos; Lori Lewis Rivera; Premkumar A. Walekar; and four individuals who were injured: a 43-year-old female in Spotsylvania County; a 37-year-old male in Ashland, Va.; a 13-year-old boy in Bowie, Md.; and 22-year-old Rupinder Oberoi, who was shot outside the Hillandale Beer and Wine in Silver Spring, Md.  

“Speaking on behalf of the families, we sincerely thank AmeriDream for this generous donation,” said Gregory Wims, president of the Victims’ Rights Foundation. “On behalf of the Victims’ Rights Foundation, we want to echo AmeriDream’s challenge to the business community to match this gift.” 

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The mission of The AmeriDream Charity, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD, is to expand homeownership opportunities for underserved groups and promote the value of homeownership as the foundation for building strong communities and individual prosperity. A 501(c)(3) organization, The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. meets HUD requirements for FHA insured loans as a charitable organization.  In addition to The AmeriDream Downpayment Gift Program, the charity also operates The AmeriDream Redevelopment Program in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Through the Redevelopment Program, AmeriDream has spent more than $8 million to rehabilitate properties and return them to the market at affordable prices. The AmeriDream Charity, Inc. has also donated more than $1 million to a range of community organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.