Tri-Village News

Friend: Music fest perfect way to honor Jennifer Cooke

Sunday's festival at Grandview library will pay tribute to music lover found dead at home Aug. 11

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A day of music will remember and honor Jennifer Cooke this weekend.

The Lady of the Lake Festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, on the lawn of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave. Parking will be available in the library's rear parking lot and on surrounding streets. The library will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.

Police discovered Cooke's body Aug. 11 in her Woodhill Drive townhome while performing a well-being check. Cooke had been stabbed several times. Grandview police have not released further information about the investigation.

The concert is being held as a celebration of Cooke's life, said Cooke's friend and neighbor, Za Unitt, who is organizing the event.

"She wouldn't want us to be wearing black and feeling sad about her. She would want us to be getting up and dancing," Unitt said.

"Jennifer was a huge lover of music and loved, loved, loved going to festivals," she said. "She loved going to the Music on the Lawn concerts at the library. You could find her on Tuesday nights sitting in her favorite spot."

The lineup Aug. 25 will include the McIans, Donna Magavoro, Billy Zenn & Pat Buzzard, C LA C I, Kyle Sowash, MillerKelton, Mike Wilson, doctah X, So Hard and ECC.

"The response we've received from the music community, the city of Grandview and the library has been phenomenal," Unitt said.

The Lady of the Lake Festival will be a free and family-friendly event, she said.

Cooke "really identified with Vivienne, the character from the Lady of the Lake (the Arthurian legend and DC comic) and named her daughter after the character," Unitt said.

A small garden in Cooke's memory will be dedicated at the library during the festival, she said.

Donations to benefit Cooke's family and her daughter also will be collected, Unitt said.

A memorial fund has been set up through Huntington Bank. Checks can be brought to or mailed to any Huntington branch, made out to the Jennifer Cooke Memorial Fund.

Cooke was a kind soul who loved and accepted everyone she met, Unitt said.

"She was so shy and almost majestic when you first met her that you almost thought of her as a goddess," she said.

"But then you'd get to know each other and you couldn't shut her up. She was so funny and goofy.

"She always made everyone around her smile and laugh," Unitt said. "She didn't want anyone to focus on the negative things in the world."

A day of music is perhaps the best way to celebrate Cooke's life and the impact she had on those who knew and loved her, Unitt said.

Music is one of the ways Cooke celebrated life, she said.

Earlier this month, Cooke attended Lollapalooza in Chicago to mark her 35th birthday.

In a message she posted Aug. 2 on Facebook, Cooke wrote, "Just got to Lolla, celebrating my birthday weekend. So far, 35 is looking like it will be the best year yet."

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