- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A group of friends has banded together as a committee to provide aid and relief to a Calvert County family, as well as to alleviate financial pressure, in the aftermath of a car accident that involved three sisters.
A car accident Aug. 7, 2013, on Mt. Harmony Road in Sunderland resulted in the death of Courtney Curl, 17. Her sister Peyton, now 11, is back in school and playing soccer after her broken femur healed. However, the oldest sister, 20-year-old Brittany, sustained multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury that has left her permanently disabled.
When Pat Shaffner and Charlie Sisson, among other friends, met the girls’ mother, Lisa Curl, at Thursday’s Bar & Grill in Owings after the accident, they recognized a need — and decided to address it.
“I knew we had to do it on a big scale,” Shaffner said. “She needs big money.”
Because Brittany will not turn 21 until July, she currently is ineligible to receive Medicaid coverage. Although she resides in a nursing home, has undergone many surgeries, requires many more and needs around-the-clock care, Brittany’s insurance company has stopped all payments, Shaffner said.
Now, using Thursday’s as their headquarters, their own ingenuity and time as their tools, and relying on the generosity of the community to fuel their efforts, the committee members are planning a benefit to help raise money for “Team Curl and Brittany.”
The benefit will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206. All of the proceeds and donations will go to the Curl family to help fund Brittany’s care.
As far as donations go, cash is king, said Sisson, a member of the committee of about nine people, most of whom are “up in age,” Shaffner said.
The committee has deposited in the bank about $4,000 of cash donations from both individual community members and small businesses throughout Calvert County, Shaffner said.
Both Shaffner and Sisson expressed their amazement and gratefulness for the generosity of the county’s residents and businesses. The event will feature silent auction prizes — all donated — including a mattress valued at $899, a “No Parking” sign from the 1973 presidential inauguration, free pet eye exams, sports memorabilia, a tattoo from the Octopus Tattoo Co., sessions with a personal trainer at World Gym and more.
“The funny part is when you go to these businesses, as soon as you mention the Curl family … they automatically know,” Sisson said. “They might not know the name, but they know the accident because it was so severe, and it’s like they can’t reach in their pockets fast enough.”
In addition, attendees will receive, with the price of each $30 ticket, a full dinner, 50/50 raffles and five “baskets of cheer” to be raffled off. Hall of Fame Entertainment and the Julie Rogers Studio of Dance will perform.
In her quest to raise funds, Shaffner decided “this is bigger than us” and wrote letters to Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey, asking them to alert their fans of the cause. She also wrote to various politicians.
But the effort starts and ends with the community. Upcoming “dining-to-donate” events — arranged by the committee in cooperation with restaurants that will donate a cut of their revenue on a certain night to a cause — include March 25 at Traders Seafood Steak & Ale in Chesapeake Beach. Also, the Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Huntingtown will host a breakfast March 22, the proceeds of which will go to the Curl family.
Although Shaffner has never planned or hosted a charity event of this size before, she’s confident it will be a success.
“It’s going to be awesome,” she said. “I think we are going to have a fantastic turnout.”
All monetary donations can be made payable to Team Curl and sent to M&T Bank, 10090 Southern Maryland Blvd., Dunkirk, MD 20754.