Monday, January 30, 2023
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$1.5 Million Commitment to Hurricane Relief in Central Florida

Central Florida Foundation (CFF) and Austin Russell will commit $1.5 million to local hurricane recovery through a charitable fund established in 2021 by the technology leader.

“Hurricane Ian has had an immeasurable impact to the state, and Central Florida was not immune,” said Russell. “As part of the community both personally and professionally with my company Luminar, I am humbled knowing I can help in this time of need.”




Central Florida saw record-breaking flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, creating logistical challenges and having adverse impacts on hundreds of thousands of residents.

“This is a historic, 500-year flood event,” said CFF’s President/CEO Mark Brewer, who believes that strategic philanthropists such as Russell can be instrumental in the rebuilding efforts of a community. He advises that the recovery effort requires a long-term strategy, as communities will be in need for months going forward. “Rebuilding is a long process that requires collaborative work across all sectors,” Brewer adds, and the strategic grants made by Austin’s Foundation Fund commitment will be able to help those in the extensive rebuilding journey that’s to come.

Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar, focuses on laser technology and software for safer transportation and is headquartered in Orlando. He passionately believes in the region’s potential in becoming a “premier global technology center,” with Luminar playing a vital role in that vision coming into fruition.

Central Florida Foundation, with a special focus on systems-level solutions and community-wide collaboration, has a proven track record of addressing the region’s challenges and creating measurable, sustainable change even in the face of disaster. Strategic, thoughtful approaches to grantmaking and a vested interest in solving long-range issues remain a cornerstone of Central Florida Foundation and its mission of building community by building philanthropy.

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