The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28
Sept. 26 was just another Tuesday for 24-year-old Bridesburg resident Laura Brooks, until approximately 7:28 p.m. when she was crossing the 3700 block of Richmond Street alone and was struck by the front driver’s side of a 2005 Chevy. After being rushed to Temple Hospital, she was determined to be in critical condition, having suffered injuries to her hip, torso, legs and head.
In response to hearing this news, Brooks’ friends and family have decided to host a beef and beer event to raise money for her increasing medical bills. A close friend of the victim, Kate McCandless, who has known Brooks since they met at a recreational sports program at Newts Playground at Shissler Recreation Center in sixth grade, stressed that her friend’s family was in no way prepared to support the vast and increasing medical bills, and thus all proceeds will be donated directly to them.
“I got woken up out of my sleep to my girlfriend telling me she saw what had happened on social media,” McCandless said. “[Brooks] is currently in a medically induced coma fighting for her life. The cops said that the driver was going ’25 mph’ but Laura’s neurologist said there was no way that was possible.”
The fundraising beef and beer will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Holy Name Church, located at 701 Gaul St. Tickets will cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and the event will feature food, drinks, baskets, prizes, shirts and more.
“The goal for the event is to bring awareness to the tragedy and to help raise funds for the medical bills that the Brooks family will have to deal with,” McCandless said. “Most people would take the healing process day by day, but Laura’s family and friends are taking it hour by hour. Although there has been some ‘progress’ it’s hard to say whether or not it’s actually improvement, but we all have hope that she will make a full recovery.”
For those unable to attend the event, a GoFundMe page has also been established in honor of Brooks, a Fishtown native, and donations can be made by visiting: https://www.gofundme.com/pray-for-pesos.
“People should donate because this tragedy hits close to home,” McCandless said. “Everyone in the neighborhood knows Laura or knows of Laura, and if it were the other way around Laura would help any way that she could.”
McCandless added that she knows this to be true because during her and Brooks’ senior year of high school, she was going through chemotherapy and Brooks made sure she was OK every day. She continued by stressing that Brooks and her family helped McCandless in ways she believes she could never repay, so now she feels the need to give back and try to influence others to do the same for an amazing woman, and an amazing cause.
Furthermore, McCandless described Brooks as someone who is always the center of attention, and who is kind, loving, goofy, an overachiever and someone who leaves an impression on everyone she meets. She added that Brooks is a financial advisor at a collection agency in Bensalem, and a lover of sports, music, her friends and going to local sporting events.
To purchase tickets for the beef and beer, or with questions, call Erin Gallagher, Brooks’ best friend and organizer of the benefit, at (215) 251–5880.
The Philadelphia Police Department confirmed this accident, and relayed that an investigation is active and ongoing. It also noted that the 21-year-old operator of the 2005 Chevy did remain at the scene for police arrival.