Nancy Cooper fund helps abused women

CARY Nancy Cooper's husband Brad is charged with first-degree murder in his wife's death. He remains in jail.

Nancy's body was found last July in an undeveloped subdivision a few miles from the couple's Cary home.

Friends and family say Monday is not about ongoing legal proceedings. It's about helping others and remembering Nancy Cooper at the same time.

Nancy's Butterfly Fund will provide financial assistance to women and their children as they try to leave abusive relationships. Money in the fund will help victims of domestic violence pay for things like apartment deposits, childcare, food and other basic needs.

"In the days immediately following Nancy's death, a butterfly, both large and vivid, seemed to be a constant guest in our neighborhood and it came to symbolize our departed friend. We have selected the butterfly symbol to memorialize, honor Nancy and to support victims whose lives are impacted by dysfunctional domestic violence relationships," said Garry Rentz, Nancy Cooper's father.

Nancy's two daughters designed the fund's butterfly logo. Last fall at the dedication of a memorial bench to Nancy, her mother offered a wish to honor her daughter.

Donna Rentz said, "I want all of you to go home and hug those that you love. Keep them close! And while all thanks have been said, there are just no words left."

Nancy Cooper is gone, but through the fund, her family says her spirit lives on.

Nancy's Butterfly Fund will be managed by Interact, a local agency that helps victims of domestic violence.

Click here to learn more about Interact.

The inaugural event to raise money for the fund will be held on June 13, 2009 at Life Time Fitness in Cary, North Carolina. Cooper, an avid runner, was a member of the club. The fundraiser will include a silent auction, live music, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

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