Hundreds of Lincoln teens will roam the city's neighborhoods on Halloween collecting cash to aid the family of a hospitalized fellow student.
The Brady Beran Trick or Treat fund-raiser was organized by youth groups at two churches: Messiah Lutheran and Christ Lutheran. Messiah youth group leader Scott Guenther said teens were searching for some way to help Beran and his family.
"This is something kids can do," he said. "If we wait too long, we've lost that connection, that drive to help. This is still very fresh in so many of the kids' minds."
Beran, who played football for Lincoln East High School, was critically injured in a Sept. 24 game at Seacrest Field. Since then he has progressed from critical to serious condition at BryanLGH Medical Center West. He was to have moved to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital last week, but an infection, caused by a dislodged feeding tube, required immediate surgery and prevented the move.
"It's just in God's hands really and the medical community. There's a lot of people working hard," his mother, Carol, said Tuesday. "We're still positive, but we've run into so many obstacles. It's been an up and down roller coaster ride."
They are taking the recovery day by day, she said. She and her husband, Tom, are at the hospital every day.
"Tom and I have a strong faith, and that's what's getting us through," Carol Beran said.
She said the love and support the family has received from friends, their East High family, and even people they don't know has been wonderful.
"Please thank everyone," she said.
Students and others following Beran's progress know that recovery from a traumatic brain injury is a slow process and the family's finances will be strained, Guenther said.
"There's going to be expenses that won't be covered," he said.
Guenther said the students jumped at the chance to raise money for Beran on Halloween, and he has worked to organize teens at almost all of the Lincoln high schools, both public and private, through their student councils. Students who want to participate should contact their student council today.
Participating students will buy a $10 Brady Bunch T-shirt that East High has been selling to support the Beran family. They will wear the shirts as they collect money on Halloween to make them easily identifiable.
The shirts were designed by Erica Mann, a recent Lincoln Southeast graduate and daughter of East High science teacher Dennis Mann. About 1,000 of the shirts had been sold as of Tuesday, with at least half the proceeds going to Beran's family, Dennis Mann said.
"We thought we'd sell maybe 200," he said. "The result has been absolutely remarkable."
Students will go door to door collecting money on Halloween and will leave a blue balloon with each donating household to tie on their door, letting other students know fund-raisers already have been there.
Inspirmedia has taped a commercial about the fund-raiser that will air on TV channels 8 and 10/11, said Jon Wilson, executive producer.
"It features eight Lincoln area high school kids, to inform the public about the Brady Beran Trick or Treat program," Wilson said.
The multimedia video and Web site company also donated a Web site to the cause, www.BradyBeran.org.
Other fund-raisers include a cheerleading exhibition at East High at 7 p.m. Nov. 9, with about 20 cheerleading squads performing. Admission is $5 per person.
East students are also planning a dance.
East cheerleaders have sold angel pins for Beran and have made more than $1,000 on that project, said sponsor Colleen Ogden.
Reach JoAnne Young at 473-7228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.