KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From a lost life to lost jobs, and scars both physical and emotional, former employees of JJ’s Restaurant have dealt with a lot since the Feb. 19 explosion near the Country Club Plaza.
And Kansas City has stepped up, donating generously to a fund set up to help them. But how is the money being distributed?
A ruptured gas line lead to a deadly explosion inside JJ’s Restaurant. In the following weeks, Kansas Citians raised nearly $300,00 to help employees in the aftermath.
“I think its been wonderful that the people of Kansas City have stepped up forward and have contributed these kinds of funds for a small business really, that needed it,” said Jay Daugherty.
Daughtery, a former circuit judge, is one of three trustees designated to distribute payments to those needing the most help.
“When you’re looking at the physical injuries to the survivors, and there are 4 to 5 survivors that are very seriously injured, not to mention the young lady who was killed. So those are obviously the people that we are most entrusted in trying to help.”
Documents show only one person has received a payment of $25,000. Nine people have received between $10,000 to $15,000. And thirteen others have been given $5,000 or less.
“There’s just an incredibly wide array of circumstances and we tried to take all of those things into consideration as we are making decisions on how much to disperse.”
Daughtery said money has helped pay mortgages and rent — bills that pile up until some were able to find new employment.
The three trustees are not being paid for their work.
There remains around $80,000 that has not yet been committed, Daughtery said.