Today the Bonney Family, in loving memory of Brandy Rae Bonney’s thirty-fifth birthday, announced their sponsorship of the RESPOND Gala, which will be held October 23, 2015 starting at 6:00 pm at the Hotel Marlowe, Cambridge. The event raises funds to allow RESPOND to help survivors of domestic violence and their children to achieve safe, dignified, independent lives free from emotional abuse and violence.
Brandy was born August 19th 1980 and became the victim of domestic violence on September 16th 2005. Her death left her family devastated, but they choose to find ways to keep her memory alive while helping others survive domestic violence.
RESPOND, Inc., a pioneer in the movement to end domestic violence, is New England’s first domestic violence agency and the second oldest in the nation. Its work began in the early 1970s, when four Somerville, Massachusetts women started a grassroots effort to support victims of domestic violence by opening their own homes as safe havens for women fleeing abuse. In 1974, these “founding mothers” formed RESPOND, Inc. For over 40 years RESPOND has provided life-saving shelter, support services, training and education to more than 100,000 members of the community.
Many of those who were close to Brandy work together to keep her memory alive by helping others survive domestic violence and find better lives. Some of them include Brandy’s daughter Michelle “MiMi” Bonney; her parents Ron and Rae Bonney; her grandmother Barbara Penn; her sister and brother in law Jeannette and John Harrington; her brother and sister in law Ron and Iwona Bonney; and her nephews John, Chris and Andy; her best Friend Michelle Ellis and daughter Brandy; as well as many aunts, uncles and friends.
Brandy’s life is celebrated each year with the annual Brandy R. Bonney Scholarship, which is awarded to a Somerville High graduating senior to attend Bunker Hill Community College. The scholarship is for full tuition and support, and requires participation in the BHCC Mentoring Program http://www.bhcc.mass.edu/scholarships/brandyrbonneymemorialscholarship/.
The Bonney family has also sponsored many smaller needs such as the Be a Buddy not a Bully Program, sports teams, chorus uniforms, and other charitable needs in Brandy’s name.
The Brandy Rides program with Arlington Yellow Cab is in its tenth year offering rides to Domestic Violence victims to aide them in getting to emergency shelter, hospitals, or police station http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2008/11/09/five_who_made_a_difference/.
If you wish to celebrate Brandy’s birthday please consider supporting RESPOND. Tickets and more information can be found at http://respondinc.org/2015-responding-to-domestic-violence-gala-sponsors, they are the oldest domestic violence program in New England.
Happy Birthday Sis, Love Brother.