Slain mom's friends start special fund

From staff reportsApril 21, 2009 

— Friends of a slain Cary mother Nancy Cooper have started a fund to help women and children leave abusive relationships.

The fund, named in honor of Nancy Cooper, is called "Nancy's Butterfly Fund" and will be managed by Interact, a nonprofit agency that provides safety and support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Cooper's husband, Brad Cooper, was charged with first-degree murder following the death of his wife of eight years and the mother of his two daughters. Since Nancy Cooper's death, her family has cared for the couple's two daughters.

Nancy Cooper was reported missing July 12. Her body was found a few days later in an unfinished subdivision not far from her home. She had been strangled.

Brad Cooper was arrested Oct. 27 and since then has been held without bail in the Wake County jail.

Friends say their goal is to minimize the financial obstacles that might prevent women and children from leaving violent, unsafe homes. The fund will provide financial assistance for apartment and utility deposits, childcare, education, food and transportation.

"After Nancy's death, we were frequented by this yellow butterfly," said Jessica Adam, a friend. "For us it just came to symbolize Nancy."

Adam said her friends thought of creating the fund immediately after Nancy died, but they were unable to get it started until recently.

A fundraiser will be held June 13 at Lifetime Fitness in Cary. Cooper, an avid runner, was a member of the club. The fundraiser will include a silent auction, live music, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

To make a donation to Nancy's Butterfly Fund, go to www.interactofwake.org and select Nancy's Butterfly Fund from the drop down list on the "Donate" page. For more information, go to nancycooper.blogspot.com.

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