We are a grassroots organization that reaches out to families at the worst time in their life, after a homicide has taken place in their family. We inform, refer and listen to these families, whether they need a support group, reparations for the massive cost of a funeral, a victim advocate for their court dates. We also offer two solid programs~ aquarium science and conga drums for after school clubs.
My story ~Saint Paul MN~ March 31st 2003, my almost 16 year old son Benjamin and three other boys were walking one block from shooting hoops at the rec center. Two 23 year old thugs jumped out of their car and chased the boys. They caught my Benny and beat him to death mistaking him for someone else. Ben was removed from life support April 4th. With massive grief and anger my partner Rome Hanson and I started the Ben Doran Foundation. I was amazed at the effort I had to put into helping myself after Ben's murder. I had massive PTSD and if it wasn't for lots of friends that had places and names I could contact, I would not have received the 3 years of counseling, two support groups, medication, and all the support to survive another day. Not everyone has access to this support system. This is the help I hope I bring to other parents and families. In addition to being there for crime victim families we also have brought some after school programs to high school kids.
Rome Hanson is an accomplished conga drummer and master aquarist.
He taught Benjamin the conga drum in 2001.
Rome facilitated an after school aquarium club Como Senior High in 2004, a conga drumming program at Murray Junior in 2007. We spoke last spring (2009)to Highland high school senior civics class about the importance of contacting lawmakers at the legislature about any issue that is important to their lives. We have networked and create dialogue with many local nonprofits, law enforcement, the legislature and schools. In 2007 the Ben Doran Foundation was instrumental in obtaining a proclamation from our governor for our Day of Remembrance for victims of murder every year on September 25th. We do all this in memory of my precious Ben who was smart, funny and loved life. He is deeply missed every day and the foundation is a way for me, his mother and his many friends and family to deal with this massive loss. ~ Maggie Doran