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Browne, Cooper to headline concert for Tucson civility fund

A new fund set up to support those affected by the Jan. 8 mass shooting will get a boost from a benefit concert featuring Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Ozomatli, Calexico and others.

The March 10 concert will benefit the Fund for Civility, Respect, and Understanding, set up by the family of Ron Barber, an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was wounded in the attack.

“When I was in the ICU, I thought a lot about what it would take to help our community heal and unify,” Barber said in a release posted on Browne's website.

Barber announced the fund's creation and the concert at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.

"This is not a short-term commitment for any of us," he told reporters. "We're here for the long haul," Barber said, speaking for the members of an advisory group set up to manage the fund.

“There was a huge outpouring of goodwill, kindness and compassion after the shooting, such a contrast to what happened that day," Barber said in the release.

"My family and I wanted to find a way to harness that goodwill to do meaningful things in the community. In the short term, we can help those whose lives were affected on January 8. In the long term, we will work toward improving awareness of mental health issues and services and changing the tone of how we interact with each other in our schools, our communities, and in public policy discussions.”

The Barber family are "perfect role models for our community," said Ann-Eve Pedersen, one of the fund's advisors, praising their "compassion in their personal and professional lives."

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The fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will "support nonprofit programs or organizations that work to heal the wounds inflicted" on Jan. 8, the organization said in a press release.

The fund "will honor those who lost their lives or were injured that day, and will pay tribute to the first responders, citizens and medical personnel who came to their aid," the release said.

"The fund will support nonprofit activities in public schools, faith communities, and mental health.  Concerts will play an important role in building the fund and in healing and unifying our community."

"In schools, these programs will work with students to encourage understanding of differences and address the effects of bullying," the Community Foundation's website said. "In faith communities and the political arena they will promote respect for different points of view and civil discourse regarding public policy issues. In mental health they will work to increase awareness of mental health symptoms, prevention and treatment services."

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, another fund advisor, said that the Tucson Victims' Fund, which merged several funds set up in the wake of Jan. 8, will directly focus on those affected by the shootings. The civility fund will concentrate on longer-term, systemic efforts, she said.

No decisions on what groups to fund have been made yet, Barber said.

Barber thanked the musicians involved in the concert for "giving free time to us to have a joyous event" that will promote "healing through music."

Also performing at the concert at the Tucson Convention Center will be Sam Moore, Nils Lofgren, Keb' Mo', Jennifer Warnes, Jerry Riopelle and Dar Williams.

The event will feature remarks from Barber, Giffords' husband, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, Lea Marquez Peterson, president of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Bob Walkup.

Tickets, priced from $25 to $250 ($33.20 and $270.85 with Ticketmaster fees), will go on sale Friday at 10:30 a.m. Barber said tickets will range from $25 to $95, with the $250 tickets including a VIP reception. Tickets will be available at the Tucson Convention Center Ticket Office, 260 S. Church Ave., at www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 800-745-3000.

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An advisory board will help determine which programs will be supported by the fund.

Advisory board members include: Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup; Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall; Lisa Lovallo, Vice President Cox Cable; Ron Shoopman, President Southern Arizona Leadership Council; Neal Cash, President/CEO Community Partnership of Southern Arizona; Steve Lynn, Vice President Tucson Electric Power; Lea Marquez-Peterson, President/CEO Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Janet Marcotte, Executive Director YWCA Tucson; Gary Jones, President Arizona Earthworks; Jennie Grabel, Music Director Clear Channel; John Wesley Miller, Chairman John Wesley Miller Companies; Laura Shaw, Senior Vice President Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc.; Ann-Eve Pedersen, President Arizona Education Network; Barber's daughters Jenny Douglas, Director Second Street Children's School and Crissi Blake, R.N.; and Nancy and Ron Barber.

Donations to the fund may be made at the Community Foundation website.

Barber, Giffords' district director, was wounded Jan. 8 in what authorities are calling an assassination attempt on the congresswoman.

Six were killed in the attack, and 13 others, including Barber and Giffords, were wounded. Jared Lee Loughner, 22, has been charged in the mass shooting.

Giffords was transferred last month to a Houston rehabilitation facility. All the others injured in the attack were released from the hospital.

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Feb 16, 2011, 7:54 pm
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Thank you for this good-news story.

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