A fundraiser for Damon Brooks, a Goucher Men’s Basketball player who was critically injured in a tragic accident on April 20 of last year, will be held at the Decker Sports & Recreation Center (SRC) on Monday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The team will take on Johns Hopkins University.The community was notified of Brook’s injury on the morning of one of Goucher’s Biggest Celebrations: Get Into Goucher day, GIG. The accident, unrelated to the day’s events, resulted in the injury of Brook’s C4 and C5 vertebrae, leaving the then-freshman paralyzed from the neck down.
Bill Nelson, Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, proposed the idea of a benefit game upon hearing about the accident on D3 Hoops, a website that covers men’s and women’s NCAA Division III college basketball.
“I saw that Damon had this most tragic accident and that his life would be changed forever,” Nelson said. “It was mentioned that Goucher was going to do everything possible to help Damon and his family at this tough time. I thought that a benefit game between Goucher and Hopkins could raise some money that could assist them in a small way.”
According to Nelson, the Baltimore Division III basketball community is “a close knit group. We fight tooth and nail while the game is in progress but after it’s over, there remains a great deal of respect by both sides.”
Nelson contacted Goucher Athletic Director Geoffrey Miller, and the fundraiser quickly became a community affair.
The planning group has developed from “all over the community,” according to Miller. “It is made up of people from everywhere: from athletics, to the Office of Communications, to the Alumnae/i House. It’s been great to work with people like that.”
Admission is five dollars for all attendees, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Mid-Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund hosted by HelpHOPELive, a non-profit organization established to help fundraise for those who have been critically injured.
Attendees are encouraged to purchase a five dollar Damon Brooks benefit bracelet adorned with his name, jersey number, and the HelpHOPELive website. Computers will also be available in the lobby of the Recreation Center to make donations.
“The expenses of living with a spinal injury are “inconceivable,” according to Miller. Proceeds will provide funds for his health care, rehabilitation, and other critical needs.
“There’s never going to be enough money for Damon,” he continued. “But if we get 750 people from our community, and 100 people from Hopkins? That would be a smashing success, and something big we can do for him.”
Prizes, raffles, and concessions will also be held during the fundraiser.
All proceeds from the Goucher Women’s Soccer team’s concession stand will go to Brooks’ recovery fund.
“We have all been affected by this,” said Head Coach of the team Tati Korba. “It’s just the right thing to do.”
Leonard Trevino, Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball team is hopeful for a great turnout.
“Damon is and always will be part of the Goucher Community,” said Trevino.
“We hope that this game, besides being a benefit, will be a celebration of what the essence of Goucher is when we come together.”
It has not been confirmed whether Brooks will be in attendance.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at http://www.goucher.edu/tickets. University Tickets, Goucher’s ticketing company, has waived their convenience fee in support of the benefit. To make a direct donation to Brooks, visit http://www.helphopelive.org.