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Oak Ridge National Lab, UT-Battelle tsunami relief fund totals nearly $200,000
ORNL researcher Budhu Bhaduri (left) and ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth unveil the "big check" tsunami relief fund total with Tony Farris of the Appalachian Chapter of the American Red Cross. (hi-res image)
The total was announced at a ceremony in ORNL's new Research Support Center. Among those attending the event were lab employees from countries hit hardest by the disaster that has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
"The amount collected from employees and retirees was nothing short of remarkable, exceeding all my expectations," Wadsworth said. "We thank all those who contributed so generously to the fund. This is one of the largest expressions of good will in the laboratory's history."
Wadsworth said the laboratory's tsunami relief fund follows donations of more than $800,000 from ORNL staff to the United Way.
As of Tuesday, 888 ORNL staff and retirees had donated checks or cash to the fund. Staff contributions, which represent one-half of the total raised, will be given to the American Red Cross to help tsunami victims. UT-Battelle matching funds will be applied to a specific project such as the rebuilding of a school or orphanage. The project will be selected by the Team UT-Battelle Board of Directors from suggestions developed by ORNL staff.
"This incredible outpouring of support and generosity from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT-Battelle will go directly toward helping to ease the suffering and speed the recovery of those who were stricken by this tragic catastrophe," said Tony Farris of the Appalachian Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Farris was presented a check during the ceremony from Wadsworth and Budhendra Bhaduri, a researcher in ORNL's Computational Sciences and Engineering Division. Bhaduri helped develop the LandScan database system used by the United Nations to aid recovery efforts in the days following the tsunami.
Bhaduri is one of more than 150 ORNL foreign national staff and guest researchers from India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other nations directly affected by the tsunami.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.