Fundraiser set for Mt. Hebron grad and bomb victim Erika Brannock

America watched in horror as bomb blasts shattered the lives of innocent bystanders at the Boston Marathon.

Among those severely injured was Mt. Hebron High School graduate Erika Brannock.

She was in Boston with her sister, Nicole Gross, also an alumna of Mt. Hebron; and brother-in-law, Michael Gross, to watch their mom, Carol Downing, run the marathon.

While her sister and brother-in-law both sustained injuries, Brannock's trauma was so severe that doctors were forced to amputate her left leg below the knee. She is still recuperating in a Boston hospital.

Her road to recovery will likely include a lengthy hospital stay with additional surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. But it will also include the love and support of her family, friends and community.

One of Brannock's biggest supporters is Mt. Hebron graduate Ashley Cook, a childhood friend and neighbor, who is organizing a fundraiser to help with her medical costs.

"The physical, emotional, and mental pain (Brannock) has endured cannot be quantified, but in an effort to alleviate much of the financial stress and heartache that is to come, a fund has been set up in her name. In order to increase awareness of this fund ... we are hosting an event at Mother's Federal Hill on Saturday, May 4, between 1 and 5 p.m.," Cook wrote on the Erika Brannock Supporters Facebook page.

Tickets are $40 and include food, soft drinks, beer and wine, and the opportunity to participate in a 50/50 raffle. Preorder tickets at or purchase tickets at the door (cash only).

If you are unable to attend the fundraiser but would like to make a donation, go to the Brannock Fund online at or mail a check (payable to the Erika Brannock Fund) to the Erika Brannock Fund, P.O. Box 828, Sparks, MD 21152.

The Catholic Daughters, Court 1882, is hosting its Quarter Mania auction on May 17, at the Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Road, in Ellicott City.

Doors open at 6 p.m.; bidding starts at 7. Tickets are $5 in advance; $8 at the door. Food is available for purchase.

Quarter Mania tickets can be reserved by calling 301-875-5171 or 240-457-6195, or by sending an email to (Put Quarter Mania in subject line.)

Calling all art lovers. Check out the Arc of Howard County's new sculpture "Sentinel Magic" by Baltimore artist Jim R. Paulsen. The 12-foot sculpture will reside on the Arc's property for the next year as part of the Howard County Arts Council's "ARTsites 2013" exhibition.

"ARTsites 2013" is a year-long public art exhibition at 12 sites throughout the county. The goal of the HCAC program is to engage the community and enhance public spaces.

According to HCAC, the "multi-site exhibit serves as a visual celebration of HCAC's more than 30 years of fostering the arts and bringing the arts to community life."

The Arc is at 11735 Homewood Road. Since its inception in 1961, The Arc of Howard County has become one of the county's largest employers, with more than 300 staff members and hundreds of volunteers working to achieve full community life for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc provides a range of residential, employment and family support services. For more information, contact

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