When it comes to Erika Brannock, a Cockeysville resident who lost her lower left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, and Brannock's mother, Carol Downing, the staff at Graul's Market in Hereford consider them part of the family.
Brannock, a preschool teacher at Trinity Episcopal Children's Center, in Towson, worked in the store's deli department while she was in college and grad school, and she still keeps in close touch with her former co-workers.
"Erika worked here for six and a half years before she became a teacher," said store manager Ken Bullen. "Lots of people on the staff know her and she stops in the store regularly. Her mom lives in Monkton and we all know her, too.
"So naturally, when we heard what had happened to Erika and realized that her medical costs were going to probably be astronomical, we thought we could put together something that would help her out."
This Saturday, May 11, the Hereford Graul's will host an all-day fundraiser for Brannock. The store will donate 10 percent its total revenues from that day and will be offering some unbeatable sales.
"Our special sales will include some pretty awesome prices on quite a few of our items for just that day," Bullen said.
The day-long festivities will also feature live music, a raffle and a cookout. WBAL Radio has partnered with Graul's for the event and will be broadcasting live from the fundraiser off and on during the day.
All proceeds from the raffle and cookout will go to a special fund set up by Graul's for Brannock.
The store manager said that, thanks to the generosity of numerous local businesses and individuals, the raffle will be "pretty awesome," too.
"We'll be raffling off Orioles and Ravens tickets, jewelry, a football signed by Ravens kicker Justin Tucker Ravens and another signed by cornerback Lardarius Webb," Bullen added. "We also have gift certificates from Graul's, as well as from local restaurants and numerous businesses in the area."
The prepared food offered at the cookout, Bullen proudly noted, will be both top of the line and local, including burgers, sausages and steaks from Monkton-based Gunpowder Bison & Trading Co. and Roseda Black Angus Farm. Boar's Head hot dogs will also be on the menu.
"Pepsi Cola is providing all the beverages and Utz is providing potato chips," Bullen added. "A lot of companies have been extremely generous."
Bullen said the Graul's markets in Ruxton and Mays Chapel will also be accepting donations for Erika on May 11. Anyone who'd like to donate, but can't make it to the Saturday fundraiser can drop off a check made out to The Boston Marathon Relief Fund, Inc. Donations can also be mailed to the Hereford Graul's, at 220 Mount Carmel Road, Parkton, MD 21120
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For more information, call 410-329-6221.