Through a series of shows called Safe and Sound: A 5-Day Benefit in Response to the Brookline Clinic Violence, 37 artists performed at seven area clubs to raise money for the Friends of Shannon fund. The fund was established in memory of Shannon Lowney by her fiance, David Keene. Lowney worked at the Brookline Planned Parenthood clinic and was one of two women killed in the shootings on December 30.
Keene said the benefits "have given me a little hope back and I am forever grateful for that. The bond that brought everyone together was Shannon and music, and that was probably the best tribute that could have been given to her. She lived her life musically. She drew strength from it." He stressed that Lowney believed "everyone has a right to their opinion...as long as they expressed it nonviolently."
During the show at Avalon on February 2, Keene was presented with a proclamation from Governor William Weld's office, designating January 29-February 5 as Friends of Shannon/Clinic Awareness Week. Organizers of Safe and Sound hope to celebrate that week next year with another series of benefits. The Massachusetts State Senate has also passed a resolution commemorating the life of Shannon Lowney, noting her efforts as "a dedicated volunteer to numerous causes," including tutoring children, assisting people with AIDS, and "tirelessly fighting for women's reproductive rights."
Future fundraising plans include an auction and the release of a CD, which The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have volunteered to release on their new independent label, Big Rig. The Bosstones announced on Saturday, February 4 that they would perform that night at T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge, and donated all proceeds to the Friends of Shannon fund.
Both Lowney and Keene were roommates of Jeff Cawthorne, one of the organizers of Safe and Sound and the drummer in the Boston band Planet Jumper (formerly Plush), who opened for Letters To Cleo on February 4 at The Rat. Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo also helped to organize the series, along with Sarah Reitkopp of Planet Jumper and Jules Verdone, who also performed at the same Safe and Sound show.
Friends of ShannonAll e-mail correspondence may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Letters to Cleo address, email@example.com.
P.O. Box 348
258 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02146