Shooting victim Barber launches fund for Civility, Respect and UnderstandingPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Mark Kelly, the husband of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, had said he hopes something good will come from January's mass shooting.
One of the victims of the shooting, Giffords' staffer Ron Barber, is making that happen.
Wednesday he announced a new fund and a benefit concert to fund programs that deal with Civility, Respect and Understanding.
While sitting in the intensive care unit recovering from gunshot wounds to the leg and face, Ron Barber grew overwhelmed from all the positive outpouring of love and prayers from the community.
"Tucson, I don't think, and I think most of us would say, was not what happened on January 8. Tucson was what happened after January 8, in terms of how our community responded with the vigils," said Barber.
So he wanted a way to give back. And there in University Medical Center the idea came to him to create the fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding.
"Tucson is a wonderful place to live. It's a community that believes in civility and respect and understanding. And we're going to do what we can to promote that through this fund," said Barber.
The fund will give money to non-profits committed to helping schools, improving awareness and treatment of mental health issues. And changing the tone of public discussion on hot button issues.
Barber and his family are providing the fund's initial donation, but it will get a big shot in the arm March 10, in a benefit concert featuring Jackson Browne, Alice Cooper, Crosby and Nash and many more.
Browne jumped at the opportunity to perform in Tucson for free.
"When he heard about what we were trying to do, he immediately saw this as something he wanted to do. And he reached out to the other artists," said Barber.
It's an opportunity for the community to heal through music, sustaining the positive energy built up in the aftermath of the shooting, and invest in programs and organizations that work to continue the healing.
Barber has assembled an advisory board to decide which nonprofits will receive money.
The concert will be held at the TCC arena, at 6 O'clock March 10. Tickets start at $25 and go on sale Saturday at the TCC ticket office.