Elkridge: Rocker Bo Oliver has personal connection to 'Murdock Madness' fundraising concert

You may or may not know who Tim Murdock is; however, a large and ever-expanding population of Elkridge and the surrounding communities does, as well as almost everyone in the Howard County Public School System.

Tim is a 25-year-old eighth-grade history teacher at Elkridge Landing Middle School and wrestling coach at Howard High School who is paralyzed from the chest down. He is currently undergoing inpatient rehabilitation at a hospital in Georgia and will continue as an outpatient in rehabilitation until he can return to Howard County. Tim's primary motivation throughout his fight has been to return to the classroom by the beginning of the next school year.

As a way to help Tim in his fight, a benefit concert — "Murdock Madness" — has been put together featuring the music of Elkridge's own O.R.B. and other local bands. The fundraising event is set for Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at Elkridge Landing Middle School.

The cover charge is $10 per person and 100 percent of the proceeds will go to HelpHopeAlive, a Radnor, Pa.-based group that empowers individuals and families to overcome financial barriers related to transplantation or catastrophic injury through grass-roots fundraising, in Tim's behalf.

O.R.B. has played to oversized audiences at Daniels Restaurant, as well as local block parties, and is comprised of Elkridge residents Cooper Gerus, Owen Gerus and Bo Oliver. These three Howard High School students are gifted student athletes and musicians, and have their own amazing story to tell of facing fears, defying odds and the power of prayer.

Bo Oliver was fortunate enough to have Tim for eighth-grade social studies during Tim's first year at Elkridge Landing Middle. Fast forward to March 29, 2012 — Bo was diagnosed with metastatic ewings Sarcoma, a discovery that was actually caught by mistake during a routine MRI for a totally unrelated issue.

He has a tumor on his hip and several spots on his lungs. Bo's strong faith in God, as well as that of his family and friends, is seeing them through this incredible challenge and the fight for his life.

According to Kathy Oliver, Bo's mom, they have "been blessed with amazing support of their family and friends. Bo is currently going thru chemo and recently had his stem cells harvested to be returned to him at a later date. He also will be receiving radiation."

Understandably, this has been a tough road for Bo, and for his family and friends, especially his bandmates. These three young men are fast friends and totally supportive of one another on a multitude of levels. The concert was planned long before the Oliver family was aware of Bo's cancer. When Bo was asked about still doing the benefit concert for Murdock, he didn't hesitate for one second, despite his own fight for survival and the toll it takes on his energy.

Bo will rise to the occasion to help make "Murdock Madness" a successful effort on behalf of his former teacher, and, along with Cooper and Owen, I think that makes them a few local heroes in their own right.

Help support "Murdock Madness" at Elkridge Landing on June 2 or you may wish to make a contribution through the HelpHopeLive web site. If you'd like to make a contribution through the concert event, contact Lori Gerus at algerus@juno.com.

Tim has a long struggle ahead and will continue to need the strength and support of his friends and community. Upon his return from Georgia, the Murdock family home needs to be more medically accessible and the exorbitant medical costs less of a financial burden to the family.

To this end, a fundraising campaign in Tim's honor has been established with HelpHopeLive. All contributions are tax deductible, are held by HelpHopeLive in the Mid-Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHopeLive for injury-related expenses only.

Donations can be sent to HelpHopeLive and note in the memo section: In Honor of Tim Murdock. You can mail contributions to: HelpHopeLive, 150 N. Radnor Chester Road, Suite F-120, Radnor, PA 19087. For secure credit card donations, call 800-642-8399, or click the "Donate Now" button on the website at http://www.helphopelive.org.

Any gift, large or small are most appreciated. By helping to alleviate the financial burdens, Tim can concentrate his energy on healing so he is prepared to return to his students at the beginning of the next school year.

I'd like to offer a big shout-out to O.R.B. and everyone who is working hard to make the benefit concert a success. I'm certain you'll make Tim proud and I also know you wouldn't have it any other way. Elkridge is like that.

Here's a fun, woman-focused event that you surely won't want to miss. Presented by the Howard County Office on Aging, the annual WomenFest is an interactive day focusing on health, wellness, fashion, and beauty, and is designed to inspire women to live more balanced, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

In addition to a wide array of dynamic vendors and exhibitors, WomenFest includes relevant and engaging seminars and important, free health screenings. The event will be held on Saturday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville, MD 21723

WomenFest will also feature a free jazz concert by Howard County's own Deanna Bogart. Admission is free, lunch is available for purchase and don't forget to bring a lawn chair for the concert.

For more information, go to http://www.howardcountyaging.org/womenfest or call 410-313-5440.

Sori Meredith, Scouting for Food chairperson, exuberantly shared the news that the 2012 Scouting for Food initiative collected 62,114 pounds of food this year! Twenty-seven food pantries in Howard County and five food pantries in Baltimore benefited from this amazing drive and the outpouring of success from the local communities.

For those who love to plan ahead, next year's Scouting for Food drive will take place on April 20, 2013, so keep your eyes open for that telltale grocery bag that the Scouts conveniently deliver. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

That's all for this week, but keep those emails coming! If you've got anything to share with your friends and neighbors in the Neighborhood View, I'd love to hear about it and pass it on. Until next time, please pay it forward and practice random acts of kindness. Thanks and have a stellar week.

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