Dale Homnick knows what happens to a family when a loved one sustains a traumatic brain injury.
Recovery can be long, slow, frustrating - and expensive.
So when he found out that the Berry family, with whom he had been friends for years, suddenly found themselves in the same situation, he knew he wanted to help.
"It literally could have been anyone," Homnick said, of the Nov. 21 car crash on the Rt. 611 Bypass that killed 9-year-old Holly Huynh and left her grandmother, Suzanne Berry, fighting for her life.
"Back in 2007, my brother was in an accident," he continued. "He had a head injury and I know it’s a long process. And even when there is insurance, it doesn't cover everything."
So Homnick, who grew up with the Berrys' son, Ron, and other friends have organized a fundraiser, set to be held on May 11.
It will be both a tribute to Holly and a way to raise money to help sustain the entire family during Suzanne Berry's recovery.
"I’ve known the whole family for years; they live right down the street," Homnick said. "Ron's dad, - he’s one of these guys, he’s just so helpful. He’d literally give you the shirt off his back."
The event will include kids' activities from noon to 3 p.m., with games, food, raffles and activities, Homnick said. It will conclude with a balloon launch in memory of Holly.
A more traditional beef-and-beer will follow from 4 to 7 p.m. and will include food, beer, raffles and activities. Families and kids attending the afternoon event still are welcome to stay for the second event, Homnick noted.
Though some entertainment and activities have been planned, more volunteers and donations still are being sought. Anyone interested in getting involved is asked to contact Homnick by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will be held at FOP 53 Pavilion, 1051 Mill Creek Road, Wycombe, Pa. Cost will be $25 for adults; $5 for children age 6 and up; free for children 5 and under.
Registration and donations may be paid through a link set up on Homnick's website.
For more information, visit the event's Facebook page.
A Plumstead man, Drew Bodden, now faces third-degree murder and related charges in connection with the Nov. 21. Prosecutors say Bodden, 38, was speeding at more than 140 mph when he slammed his Mustang into the back of Berry's car on the Rt. 611 Bypass near the Broad Street exit in Doylestown.
Holly, a fourth grader at Groveland Elementary, was pronounced dead at the scene. Berry was airlifted in critical condition and has been working at recovery ever since.