Crash of Flight 5191

Memorial service and counseling are planned

United Way of the Bluegrass and Hospice of the Bluegrass will offer counseling and bereavement services in the coming months to help families of the victims of Comair Flight 5191, officials of both agencies announced yesterday.

The effort will be underwritten by more than $60,000 that has been donated so far to the 5191 Care Fund, which United Way established to assist families of the 49 people who died when Flight 5191 crashed at Blue Grass Airport on Aug. 27.

The plan will include a “Holiday Grief Group” to assist grieving families during the coming Christmas season, and a memorial service in 2007 on the anniversary of the crash. Hospice, which will be providing the services, will help families find assistance, even if they live outside Kentucky. Help will be available for both adults and children.

An advisory committee of family members will be formed to help plan the memorial service and advise on other services that might benefit family members, officials said.

Lindy Karns, who chairs a committee overseeing the 5191 Care Fund, said members considered several ways of using fund dollars to help families, including such things as establishing a scholarship fund for victims’ children. But administering such a fund would have been too costly, she said. In addition, any use of the donations must conform with IRS provisions and United Way’s national guidelines.

Ultimately, Karns said, committee members decided that providing grief and bereavement services “would provide the most long-term use of the dollars.”

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