A Woburn woman who tragically lost her daughter after she was fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend has been honored by Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone.
The Lowell Sun reported this week that Arlene Meara was honored with the Paul R. McLaughlin Community Activist Award for her work with the Shannon Lee Meara Educational Foundation, which she founded. The award was given by Leone.
As reported on Woburn Patch, in 2008 Meara’s daughter Shannon Lee Meara was shot in the head by an ex-boyfriend. Shannon was 24 when she died.
In the wake of her daughter’s death, Arlene founded the Shannon Lee Meara Educational Foundation to help combat domestic violence.
"Shannon loved to help people,” Arlene told Patch in a 2011 interview. “I wanted to keep her spirit alive. Doing this keeps her with me and keeps me alive."
To help combat domestic violence, the organization is funded a series of projects:
- A special program at the high school, Shannon’s alma mater, to promote healthy dating relationships:
- A support group for girls there;
- A handbook for teens on how to recognize dating violence and abuse, talk about it and where to get help; and
- A scholarship for a Woburn Memorial High School student who has made a difference in her or his life or the life of someone else in connection with dating violence.
The foundation also funded a protective suit for the police Rape Aggression Defense program.
According to the Lowell Sun, the Paul R. McLaughlin Community Activist Award is given to an assistant district attorney, victim-witness advocate, support-staff member or community advocate who works selflessly and collaborates with community groups to create a safer environment.
Read Woburn Patch's full story on Meara and Shannon Lee Meara Educational Foundation by clicking this link.