Amscot founder donates $1M to state hurricane relief fund
Fort Myers Beach. Image via AP.

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Ian MacKechnie meets Hurricane Ian damage: Floridians step up for their neighbors, he says.

Amscot Financial founder Ian MacKechnie is donating $1 million to ease the suffering wrought by the hurricane that bears his name.

MacKechnie and his wife, Jean, are taking the money from their personal funds to go to the Florida Disaster Fund, according to a news release. The fund was launched Thursday in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s Wednesday landfall to work with public, private and other nongovernmental organizations bringing relief efforts to areas the hurricane devastated, said to have caused “staggering” damage estimated in the tens of billions.

“One thing I’ve come to know is that people in Florida step up to help their neighbors,” MacKechnie said, in a prepared statement. “Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc across so much of the state we love and we are grateful to be able to support the state’s recovery efforts.”

In the fund’s first 24 hours, it raised $12 million in contributions to help people in need. Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis was on Fox and Friends Friday morning extolling donors’ generosity and describing hurricane victims, “going through hell.”

“People from across the country and throughout the state of Florida are stepping up like you wouldn’t believe,” DeSantis said on the show. The fund, she said, is intended to “really help people who have lost everything”

Mackechnie moved to Florida from his native Scotland in 1986, the release announcing the gift notes. In Tampa he started Amscot that serves more than 6 million customers at over 240 locations across Florida and online.

MacKechnie expressed full confidence that the Governor, the First Lady and other state leaders will put the fund’s donations to good use.

“The Florida Disaster Fund is working quickly to accumulate the means to help as many Floridians as possible,” MacKechnie said. “Countless Floridians have lost literally everything, and Jean and I encourage others to help however they can if they are in a position to do so.”

Walmart has donated $1.5 million. Amazon gave $1 million, as did Centene Charitable Foundation, Florida Blue and Lennar. Boeing, Publix, and TECO all gave at least $500,000.

Other major donors included Simply Healthcare ($350,000), Airbnb ($250,000), Wells Fargo ($250,000), Verizon ($125,000), CVS ($100,000), Duke Energy ($100,000), Goldman Sachs ($100,000), Rumble ($100,000), Florida Power and Light ($50,000), National Christian Foundation ($50,000), PGA Tour ($25,000), and Horne ($25,000).


A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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