TULSA, Okla. – A New York nonprofit, Business for Good Foundation, has donated a total of $1 million to the three remaining survivors of the Tulsa Racing Massacre.
108-year-old Viola Fletcher, 107-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle and 101-year-old Hughes Van Ellis have witnessed a lot in their lives. First, however, was a check for $1 million given to them from Business for Good Wednesday afternoon at the Greenwood Cultural Center.
“We’re trying to extend their lifespan and make them comfortable for their age,” says Ike Howard.
Ike Howard is the grandson of Viola Fletcher. He says money helps in many ways as he takes care of both the wants and needs of the centurions.
“They want to go see everything,” says Howard.
“They want to go to historically black colleges. They want to go to different events and do many things. The mind is still fresh, but the body needs a little adjustment.”
It was a cramped home at the Greenwood Cultural Center on Wednesday, as family, friends and community members witnessed the donation first-hand. The founders of Business for Good, Ed and Lisa Mitzen, say it’s important that they give to survivors.
Ed Mitzen said: “Obviously they got it wrong.
“I don’t think there’s any argument to that and the fact that it was 101 years ago shouldn’t negate the fact that they were wrong.”
Mitzen says he simply wants to brighten their day, and make them realize that people really do care and their struggles matter.
Ed Mitzen said: “I feel a little let down when these people try and achieve what they feel like they are entitled to.
Mitzen says this is the first donation they’ve made outside of New York. Howard said the money will also be used to help the victim’s great-grandchildren go to college.
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