$200k raised to buy alleged Ford video to be donated to Canadian organizations

TORONTO – Money raised to buy an alleged video appearing to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine will instead be going to four Canadian organizations.

Gawker, the U.S. website behind the fundraiser, had promised to donate the roughly $200,000 it collected if the video didn’t surface.

A message posted on the website Thursday said the cash will be split four ways between the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke, the South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Unison Health and Community Services and the Ontario Regional Addictions Partnership Committee.

It said each organization will receive about $46,200.

Osman Ali, director of the Somali Canadian group, said he’s “very pleased” by the sudden windfall.

The funds will go toward hiring a youth worker to help local youngsters “stay away from guns and gang violence,” he said.

The group submitted a proposal for the funding and learned Thursday it had been successful, though only for half the amount it sought, Ali said.

Asked whether he was concerned about benefiting from the controversial fundraiser, Ali said only that “God has mysterious ways of helping.”

Gawker said Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site that hosted the campaign, and PayPal, which processed the payments, each withheld part of the money for their services.

In the message, Gawker editor John Cook said he’s “disappointed” the money won’t serve to buy the alleged video, which he says he has seen.

The website previously said it had lost contact with the alleged video’s owner amid the growing scandal surrounding the mayor.

Ford has said that he does not use crack cocaine and the alleged video does not exist.