Lt. Gov. Phil Scott donates $1,000 to Irene relief

Dec. 6, 2012 -- Lt. Governor Phil Scott presented the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund with a $1,000 personal donation today as part of the Relief Fund’s “State House Challenge” kickoff event.

The “State House Challenge” is part of a campaign to remind Vermonters that many of our neighbors are still suffering from the impact of Tropical Storm Irene. Although 17 months have passed and the effects may not be as visible as they were a year ago, some 500 Vermont families continue to live in damaged homes that present a health and safety risk. The VDRF estimates that it needs to raise an additional $3 million dollars to fully meet this need.

The idea behind the “State House Challenge” is to give state leaders an opportunity to lead the way in this renewed fundraising push. The campaign challenges legislators, statewide elected officials, lobbyists and the political press corps – all of the “State House stakeholders” -- to contribute to relief efforts and give more visibility to the ongoing need.

Lt. Governor Scott’s $1,000 donation is one he pledged to the Fund this past October, to coincide with a 10-day statewide bicycle tour that was part campaign event, part “staycation.” Scott felt it appropriate not to accept his official salary for that time that he was away from his office, and decided to put those foregone funds toward Vermont’s Irene victims.

“My bike tour gave me an opportunity to see the state up-close, and at a slower pace than you can from a car,” Scott said. “One of the big impressions I had from that tour was the number of homes still dislodged from their foundations, the amount of debris still in rivers, and so forth -- a year after Irene. I felt a strong need to contribute to this ongoing effort to make sure every Vermonter is restored to pre-Irene security.”

Scott also noted that Vermonters can continue to purchase “Vermont Strong” license plates from the Lieutenant Governor’s office.