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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:20 pm 
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[font=Arial]Hi everyone,

As our group reconvened after dinner on Saturday evening, we were joined by Laura's Tommy (Bayiokos). Tommy has faithfully come to each Spirit Of Love we have held and it's always a very special time having him there. Once again he kindly spent time with each and every person, including giving everyone something special that he brought.

First up that evening was our time of remembering our dear friend and devoted "fanigan", Danny Raboin, who passed away in April of this year, and to whom this year's event was dedicated. In memory of him, a video tribute put together by Erika was shown. A special thanks goes out to those fans who contributed photos to this project, and to Danny's family who so very kindly did the same. A BIG thanks goes out to Erika for her work on the video. After watching the video, a time was given for those who wished to express their sentiments regarding Danny, and it was so beautiful to hear the very special ways in which Danny touched the lives of his LB family. Danny Raboin will always be synonymous with Laura's memorial gathering, as there was never a doubt that Danny would attend each and every year. A huge fan of Laura's, one of the most special guys you could ever meet, and a genuine friend to many... that's Danny!

Then, we moved into our time of memorial for Laura. We started off by playing Christopher Cross' Think Of Laura, during which time photos of Laura were shown. That track is so poignant when thinking of our Laura, as the lyrics fit her perfectly. Next, we showed the I Know You By Heart memorial video. Afterwards, we joined in a circle, turned the lights down and lit candles, and began to play the instrumental version of I Know You by Heart softly in the background, as our candlelight memorial for Laura commenced. As the music played, opportunity was given for personal expressions regarding Laura and the ways in which she touched the lives of those of us in the room, as well as expressions in proxy for those of you who were with us in spirit. What a wonderful testament to Laura it was - hearing the most beautiful things said about her, and literally feeling the very heartfelt love and genuine emotion for her that filled the air. God Bless you, Laura...

Next, we went into our photo session time - starting off with our traditional SOL group photo...


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Front Row, Left to right: Angela, Kate, Rhiannon, Kathy, Tommy, and Vince

Back Row, Left to right: Alli, Erika, J T, Cheryl, and Richard

Locations represented: Australia, Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Dakota... and all of you worldwide, in spirit!


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Alli and Rhiannon

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Erika and Tommy

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Tommy and Kathy

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Erika and Rhiannon

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Richard and Cheryl

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Erika and Kathy

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Cheryl, Erika, and Richard

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Kathy and Alli

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Kate, Kathy, and Angela

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J T and Kathy

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Vince, Rhiannon, and Kathy


You really have to be there to experience the FUN of the photo session :D ! Many poses, flashes going off everywhere, and the continuous exchange of cameras with each other to make sure all pics are covered. It's not unusual for three or more cameras at a time to be pointing at their subjects - which makes it totally interesting when trying to figure out where you should be looking if you're having your photo taken! GREAT FUN!!!

After our camera-clicking time was done, Tommy came forward to say a few words and to present some special gifts. Tommy said things that really hit home when it comes to Laura, both personally and professionally, and we graciously thank him for sharing with our group. After, Vince and I spoke to the group - recapping some very important happenings in the past year as far as Laura is concerned, and looking ahead to things to come, as well as expressing our continued commitment to work diligently to further Laura's legacy in any positive and productive way that we can, along with Laura's "other half", stressing the importance of the individual part we each play in that process.

Originally up next on the schedule was the 1990 SRO concert; however, we and the others were flexible and we acceded to the heartfelt, arm-tugging - :lol: - request of Erika and J T to show an encore of the 1998 Meadowlands concert, since they had arrived at SOL on Saturday morning, and had missed our showing of the concert on Friday evening. We all enjoyed watching it again, and Erika and J T were blown away by LB's performance as well!

We ended the evening with our "LB TV" block, where we showed the Automan, Chips, and Monsters TV episodes that Laura starred in.

With a HUGE THANK YOU to all who attended this year's Laura Branigan Spirit Of Love Memorial Gathering, we concluded the more formal aspects of the weekend.

Coming next: Our Sunday tour in the Hamptons!

Kathy


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:56 pm 
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[font=Tahoma]Loving the pictures and the commentary. So nice to 'see' you all again if only through the benefits of technology!!!
JT - my dancing buddy and the dear man who let me navigate him into oblivion at one of the SOLs we attended.
Erika - you're looking as beautiful as ever my darling 'daughter'. I hope your tribute to Danny will be posted on LBO - you do such a fantastic job putting together such tributes.
Kate - always had such a fun time with you discussing the pronunciation of 'dawg'. You're such a delight to chat with.
Tommy - just the nicest gentlemen you would ever want to meet. You always have time for everyone.
Kathy, Vince, and Rannie - without you folks and LBO I never would have had the opportunity to have met and made such wonderful friends.
I haven't had the opportunity of meeting Alli, Angela, Cheryl and Richard but hi to you anyway. If you're and LB fan you're ok with me...........
Looking forward to the next installment..........Love, Marikate xo
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:11 pm 
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[font=Arial]Hi everybody,

On the final day of this year's Spirit Of Love, our group ventured out for a casual and relaxing tour in the Hamptons. It was another beautiful, sunny day! We traveled first to Westhampton Beach, a beautiful town with quaint shops and eateries. Our first stop while there was a traditional one - Westhampton T-Shirts - owned and operated by James and Florence Flood. We kept the employees there busy, as they prepared lots of locale imprinted apparel purchased by our group. As I chatted with Flo, she mentioned that she had spoken on the phone with our Mel earlier in the week when Mel ordered some stuff. The Floods look forward to seeing our group come through every year. They have become a special part of our LB extended family, and as such, we are happy to promote and support their business.


The MUST HAVE annual photo with Flo Flood...

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Rhiannon, Flo, Kathy, Alli, Angela, and Kate


And, a visit to Westhampton is not complete without a stop at the Beach Bakery for some delectable delights!

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Rhiannon, Kathy, Angela, Kate, and Alli


Next, we headed to East Quogue, where Laura lived, and Alli asked about taking some pics by the town sign, so our carpool pulled off on the side of the road for some photo time...

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Vince, Rhiannon, and Kathy

Then, we took everyone for a drive by Laura's home.

Our next stop was lunch. In honor of Laura's Irish heritage, we enjoyed some delicious food and conversation at Tom McBrien's Restaurant & Pub in Hampton Bays. This establishment is beautifully reminiscent of an ancient castle in Ireland.

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Rhiannon in the outdoor courtyard

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Cheryl, Kathy, Alli, Rhiannon, Kate, Angela, and Richard

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Cheryl, Kathy, Vince, Rhiannon, Kate, Angela, and Richard


Our final destination was Duck Walk Vineyards located in Southampton. A few minutes after our arrrival, we took part in a very informative and interesting guided tour of the winery.

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Front Row: Rhiannon, Kathy, Kate, Alli, and Angela

Back Row: Richard and Cheryl

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Our tour guide

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Vince, Richard, Rhiannon, Kathy, Angela, Alli, Kate, and Cheryl

Since the Duck Walk offers live music on Sundays on their patio overlooking the vineyards, we had originally planned on staying longer. However, when walking outside for that part of the tour, our group came to a general consensus that the singer/musician there that day, well his voice was not very kind to the ear, shall we say... :wink:

After the tour, there was time for wine tasting and shopping.


It was a very fun and enjoyable day spent in the Hamptons with a very special group of people. :)

Kathy
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 Post subject: SOL 2008 T-Shirt
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:32 pm 
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[font=Arial]Hi everyone,

Below are the front and back images of the Spirit Of Love 2008 event t-shirt, as designed by Erika, Steve Hidook, Kathy and Vince...


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* All images copyright 2008 Other Half Entertainment


Since this year's gathering was dedicated in memory of Danny, we went with a front design based upon Laura's Shattered Glass video, as that was Danny's favorite LB track, and the design also contains this year's theme for both Laura and Danny - "Forever Young...Never Forgotten".

The back design designates the event as being dedicated to Danny.

A BIG THANKS goes out from us to Erika and Steve for their work on this awesome design!

If you did not attend the gathering, there will be an opportunity for you to win one of these t-shirts in an upcoming LauraBraniganOnline contest!!! :D

Kathy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:24 pm 
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Great pictures!! Wish I could have been there! Thanks for sharing. I'll bet you all had a wonderful weekend together. I was definitely thinking of ya's! I hope to come next year. Sincerely, Mitch


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 Post subject: SOL Tribute To Danny...
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:28 pm 
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[font=Arial]Hi everyone,

In April of this year the LB family lost a very special man and consummate "fanigan", Danny Raboin from Massachusetts. Danny loved Laura and her music, and whether it was at work at Tower Records or during his personal time, he was always eager and quick to talk about Laura and promote her music to others. Danny had told me that he had seen Laura in concert an amazing twenty-five times, and he was there with those of us in Boston for her final performance in 2004. Danny faithfully attended every Spirit Of Love memorial gathering that had been held so far, and he was always quick to point out that he would certainly be at each and every SOL held.

Given that Danny and the Spirit Of Love gathering will always be synonymous, I easily decided after his passing that we would dedicate this year's SOL to him, and that we would set aside time during the gathering to pay tribute to him. In addition, I thought it would be nice to produce a special remembrance video that we could show as well. To that end, I asked Erika, who presented a similar idea to me, if she would like to help us out with the video, and as usual, she quickly and wholeheartedly took on the task. We gathered photos of Danny submitted by fans, and I also contacted Danny's family to see if they would like to contribute some photos as well. Danny's step-mom, Doreen, very kindly sent us photos of Danny at different ages, which really completed the video in a special way. Once again we THANK all of you out there, and Danny's family, for your very kind submission of photos!

When it came time for our design team to work on the SOL 2008 t-shirt, we wanted the elements of the t-shirt to reflect both our remembrance of Laura and of Danny. For the front image, it didn't take any time at all to come to a consensus that it would somehow incorporate Danny's favorite LB track, Shattered Glass, and we ended up with am image based upon the music video. Erika came up with an awesome line for the t-shirt, which also became our SOL theme for the year, "Forever Young...Never Forgotten" - so fitting for both LB and Danny. On the back of the t-shirt, we placed "Dedicated to Danny Raboin". I think Danny would have loved the t-shirt!

As for the event program, Vince and I included elements as well which reflected our dedication of the event to Danny. Doreen kindly sent a box of some of Danny's LB stuff, and one of the things in it was a framed 8x10 of Laura. We decided to use that shot of Laura on the front cover, along with text designating the event as being dedicated to Danny. In the inside of the program, both we and Tommy Bayiokos referred to Danny in our articles. The back of the program features a photo of Danny taken at the 2006 Spirit Of Love and words of remembrance.

As I had mentioned before Spirit Of Love took place, Doreen and one of Danny's best friends, Loretta, had planned a trip to Long Island to visit a friend, and as it was able to be worked out, that trip was going to coincide with the weekend of our event, and so plans were made for the both of them to stop in and meet us and other of Danny's fan friends on Saturday morning.

As opening remarks were made on Friday afternoon, the gathering was formally dedicated to Danny. During Laura's beach memorial that evening, Danny was remembered as well, and while we were there, when my live call-in with Codi Jeffreys from Majic 100 FM, Ottawa, Canada, began to trail off,Shattered Glass was waiting in the wings, once again in remembrance of Danny. THANKS, Codi!

What a nice surprise when we returned from the beach to our meeting room - there was Doreen, Loretta, and a friend! They also were staying at the La Quinta, and thought they would stop by for a bit since they had arrived. After having been in touch with Doreen over the past several months, it was so nice to finally meet her and the "infamous" Loretta (Danny LOVED to tell the story about the time he, his mom, and Loretta snuck into Laura's Hold Me concert!). After chatting for awhile, I presented SOL t-shirts to them as our gift - one for Doreen, one for Danny's dad, Doug, and one for Loretta, and also gave them copies of the event program. It touched me deeply to see how touched they were by receiving these items on Danny's memory. I was so glad that I had the opportunity to present the items to them in person.

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On Saturday morning we met up again with Doreen and Loretta. Danny's tribute time was slated to take place that evening, so that Tommy could be a part of that. Since Doreen and Loretta were visiting a friend that evening, and I wanted them to be the first to see Danny's tribute video, I took them aside at a table in the lobby and showed them the video on our portable DVD player. They loved it and were so appreciative of all the effort put forth in creating it. It was a such an honor for me to present copies of the video to them.

By the time the three of us walked back into the meeting room, Erika and J T, also close friends of Danny, had arrived. Introductions were made, and for the next half hour or so, our group had the most wonderful time listening to Doreen's and Loretta's stories about Danny, telling our own, and simply letting the both of them know the many ways in which Danny touched our lives. I think it was a very cathartic experience for both our LB family and for Danny's, in light of mourning his loss over the past several months.

Chatting about Danny...

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Vince, Loretta, J T, Kathy, Rhiannon, and Doreen

Fast forward to Saturday evening... Upon return from our dinner break, we went into our time of tribute to Danny. The video was shown and time was given for those who wished to speak about Danny. The music tracks used in the video are Forever Young, both studio and
live, Shattered Glass, and I Know you By Heart. THANKS again to Erika for all her work on the video! The tribute time was a beautiful remembrance of our dear friend. It was so nice to see Doreen and Loretta stop back in later that evening.

I can not express enough how much it meant to those of us there to spend time with Doreen and Loretta. They are precious, dear people who we are happy to call friends, and who are, just as Danny, part of our LB family. THANKS so much, Doreen and Loretta, for making the trip to
be with us, and for sharing with us about Danny. Rest assured that Danny will never be forgotten by his LB family...

Danny... we love and miss you! We certainly were the "lucky ones" to have had you in our lives, and we will carry you with us always...

Kathy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:52 pm 
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[font=Arial][size=134][b]Hi everyone,

Below are two pieces written for the 2008 Spirit Of Love Memorial Gathering program.

Kathy


Shadows Of Love
By Tommy Bayiokos


As we all rendezvous on this four year mark of our dearest Laura, we may engage in a catharsis of the good times, and reflect. It feels like just yesterday while I traveled in disbelief that tragic day. But in life as I learned from Laura, whatever is meant to be will be. All we have is priceless shadows of love from those years, with ashes of her soul forever flying in the beautiful ambiance of East Quogue. It

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The Official Laura Branigan Website

I saw your sweet smile
I heard your laughter
You`re still here beside me every day
`Cause I know you by heart...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:58 am 
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Thank you for telling us all about the SOL weekend, sounds awesome. Great photo's too.

Fiona


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 Post subject: Re: SOL 2008 T-Shirt
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:00 am 
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Looks like people had a great time and it's wonderful that LB and Danny could be honored.

And love that shirt!!

LauraBraniganOnline-OHE wrote:
[font=Arial]Hi everyone,

Below are the front and back images of the Spirit Of Love 2008 event t-shirt, as designed by Erika, Steve Hidook, Kathy and Vince...


Image


Image


* All images copyright 2008 Other Half Entertainment


Since this year's gathering was dedicated in memory of Danny, we went with a front design based upon Laura's Shattered Glass video, as that was Danny's favorite LB track, and the design also contains this year's theme for both Laura and Danny - "Forever Young...Never Forgotten".

The back design designates the event as being dedicated to Danny.

A BIG THANKS goes out from us to Erika and Steve for their work on this awesome design!

If you did not attend the gathering, there will be an opportunity for you to win one of these t-shirts in an upcoming LauraBraniganOnline contest!!! :D

Kathy
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 Post subject: I'm back in Aus
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:14 am 
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Hi everyone,


Just thought I'd let you all know I arrived safe back in Australia after an awesome time overseas.

I will be posting some more pics of the SOL weekend soon, so stay tuned.

I have to say that in all honesty, my time in the US was my favourite part of my travels. Although I also travelled to Copenhagen, Sweden, Paris and Hong Kong, NYC is my absolute fav city ever, and the weekend there attending the SOL gathering on Long Island was just the best. I loved every minute of it. I would recommend any Fan of Laura's to attend. It really is a fantastic weekend, even if you only go once, it's just an amazing experience.

Anyway, I'll sign off and I'll hopefully be able to attach some more pics of the weekend soon...with the help of kathy and Vince. :oops:

Cheers,

Alli :D


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