October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Dawnee Giammittorio

In memory of Ruthanne

At least once a month, my sisters-in-law and I had meetings of own “Culture Club.” We founded our club to take advantage of all the wonderful cultural offerings in the Washington, D.C.–area. We would go to a museum or craft fair or art gallery — there are so many to choose from — and maybe grab lunch or tea, and, of course, catch up on all the latest news.

Ruthanne was not a founding member of the club because she always had so many different jobs — teaching Music Together classes, teaching private piano students, playing piano and organ in churches and for weddings and funerals, etc. She was so excited when her work schedule changed, and she could finally join us. Ruthanne really enjoyed our outings, and I have so many fond memories of them.

After Ruthanne was murdered in February 2014, we could never bring ourselves to get in the spirit of Culture Club again. We have talked about it, but I know we won’t have a quorum without her. This picture is from Lobby Day with Ruthanne’s husband and daughter.

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