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Diana’s Charities Get Millions

March 10, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ The causes that Princess Diana supported in life received $21.3 million Tuesday from donations made in her memory by admirers around the world.

The money, the first grants from a $65.6 million-and-growing memorial fund, will ``keep the spirit of the princess very much alive,″ said Robert Creighton, chief executive of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, which received a $1.64 million grant.

Trustees of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund divided $13 million among the six charities to which Diana was formally linked at the time of her Aug. 31 death, plus two others she kept close ties with.

The remaining $8.3 million is to be distributed to 100 other charities Diana had supported previously. Decisions on the amounts for each will be announced early in the summer.

Besides Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Centrepoint charity for the homeless, the English National Ballet, the Leprosy Mission, the National AIDS Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital each received $1.64 million.

The Osteopathic Center for Children, where Diana was to launch a fund-raising appeal last September, also received $1.64 million, as did organizations benefiting land mine victims _ the mission Diana was most closely associated with at the time of her death.

In July 1996, the princess suddenly dropped her sponsorship of dozens of charities, retaining only a few. One of those dropped, the Parkinson’s Disease Society, on Tuesday questioned the way the fund made its first round of grants.

Barry Brooking, chief executive of the Parkinson’s Disease Society said he was ``a little surprised″ at a division that gives $13 million to eight causes, while $8.3 million will be shared among 100 more.

But trustee Vivienne Parry said the first grants marked ``just the beginning.″ In the future, grants will be made from the income of the fund and will go to charities far beyond those in which the princess was directly involved, she said.

``I think the fund will become the most important grant-giving body in the country, and a lifeline to an enormous number of charities,″ she said.

Christopher Spence, chairman of the trust’s grants committee, said it would have been impossible to please everyone.

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