A-Town founder hosts mini-festival after shooting

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family was struck twice by tragedy. And this weekend, Tom Townsend, the founder of a popular Savannah music festival, is on the road to recovery.

He almost died after someone shot him in the jaw near his home in St. Louis. 

He tells News 3 he is doing well after several surgeries to correct what happened. He says he has a few more to undergo.

Townsend is the founder of the Alex Townsend Memorial Foundation, which hosts the annual A-Town Get Down Festival every year in Savannah. 

Townsend tells News 3 he is lucky to be alive. Someone shot him in the jaw during a carjacking. It happened near his home in St. Louis.

He says police do not know who did it. 

Townsend says music kept him busy in the hospital and messages from Savannah — a town 900 miles away — kept his spirits high in St. Louis. 

“When I awoke from 12 days of a drug-induced coma, I was confused and delirious. I had a lot of good wishes from places, but for some reason, the Savannah ones were among the most touching,” he said. 

The A-Town Get Down Festival honors Townsend’s son, Alex, who died in a car crash nearly one decade ago.

“Honoring Alex started as a compulsion,” he said. “To ensure his life had meaning.” 

This year, Townsend had time only for a mini-festival with plenty of music, food and art. Proceeds went to the foundation, which helps people access art. 

Despite the loss of a son and the near-loss of his own life, Townsend says he somehow manages to keep moving forward. 

“It’s not hard to stay positive when you recognize that good and bad is happening all the time, everywhere. There is no reason I should expect to be exempt from it more than anyone else,” said Townsend.

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