The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 25, 2013

Bombing Victims Get Millions as Social Media Revamps Charity


The response on GoFundMe has surpassed what the three-year- old site has registered from Hurricane Sandy or the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., Brad Damphousse, GoFundMe's chief executive officer, said by email.

For Hurricane Sandy, GoFundMe processed $1.5 million from 16,200 donors over 174 days, he said. Before the Boston attacks, the largest individual campaign was for Farrah Soudani, a victim of the Aurora theater shooting, raising about $171,00. Funds for four survivors of the Boston bombings have each received more than that already.

One of those is Celeste Corcoran, a hair dresser who lost both her legs, and her daughter Sydney Corcoran, who just turned 18 and was severely injured by shrapnel. The mother and daughter have received more than $646,000 in donations from almost 10,000 donors.

Lownie's page is for Adrianne Haslet and her husband, Adam Davis. Haslet is a ballroom-dance instructor who lost her foot in one of the explosions. Her husband, who is in the Air Force, was seriously injured by shrapnel.

Three people died and more than 260 were injured from the April 15 marathon blasts as two bombs packed with metal objects including nails exploded. At least 13 survivors lost a limb, including some who had more than one amputation. The physical and emotional recovery may take months, if not years.

At Emerge Salon and Spa on Boston's Newbury Street, where Celeste Corcoran has worked as a stylist for 13 years, there has been a flood of calls from other salons, hair dressers and clients looking to help, said Christina Gallardo, the shop's marketing director. They have been sending everyone to the GoFundMe site.

Starting a donation page on most of the so-called crowd- funding websites takes less than five minutes and can be connected to social-media sites, such as and The money raised is typically passed directly to the recipient minus a fee.

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