LEWISTON — Former Gov. Paul LePage fell slightly short of his $500,000 fundraising goal to lend a hand to the victims of the Oct. 25 mass shooting.

LePage, a Lewiston native, and his wife, Ann, hosted a Celebration of Life Fundraiser in December in Lewiston to kick off a campaign to collect money for the families of the 18 people slain and the 13 who were wounded.

LePage, who could not be reached, announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that they raised $474,702.

“In the months that have passed, Maine has grieved the loss of our friends and neighbors,” the two-term ex-governor said. “Although the grief is not gone, we do hope that these funds provide some much-needed relief for the victims and families.”

When he announced the fundraising campaign during a radio interview in November, LePage said, “The monies will be 100% distributed to the victims’ families, both those who lost their loved ones and those who were injured.”

There hasn’t been any indication the distribution plan has changed.

“Ann and I would like to thank everyone who shared our invitation, attended the event, and to those who contributed,” LePage said.

“We would especially like to thank the generous sponsors of the event and the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce who played a critical role in administering the fund.”

The chamber is continuing to raise money for the OneLewiston Resilience Fund, a fund it jointly created with the city of Lewiston dedicated to supporting the creation of a memorial to the mass shooting and community unifying events.

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