When a car accident left a friend, Brandi Hailey, hospitalized and comatose about four years ago, Jerry Leisher helped to organize a benefit basketball game that raised $2,000 toward her recovery.
"She was a junior, and she recovered to graduate with her class at Northeast," said Leisher, 22, a 1987 Northeast graduate. "Now she's in college at Anne Arundel."
"She was just 16 when it happened, and she's 19 now," said Linda Hailey, Brandi's mother.
"We had to put her in rehab for seven months, and she needed things that we just couldn't afford. We were ableto buy her a computer and an exercise bike that she worked with. It really helped."
Tomorrow night at Northeast at 7:30, Leisher will be back on the courts, where he and a few Northeast alumni teammates again hope to work their fund-raising magic, this time for the homeless.
Leisher's Hoops for the Homeless campaign will assist the county's three shelters, Sarah's House in Fort Meade, the Fellowship of Light in Annapolis and the YMCA in Severna Park.
Tickets for the event are $2 at the door and are tax deductible, or may be obtained by calling Leisher at 437-2951.
Among Leisher's teammates against WBAL Channel 11's news team tomorrow will be Colin Bailey and Lee Squires, who along with Leisher's mother, Mary Jane Jones, helped him in his first effort nearly four years back.
"The inspiration came just before Christmas," said Leisher, who works for the Department of Defense at Fort Meade.
"My girlfriend, Danielle McMahon, and I actually had wanted to do something around the holidays. We wanted to do something in asoup kitchen or a homeless shelter, but we were too busy."
A few months later, however, Leisher thought about repeating his initial endeavor. He then contacted Maria Johnson of Action for the Homeless.
"She thought it was a great idea and said I had all the right bases covered," said Leisher.
"When Jerry came to us with theidea, we thought it was just a wonderful thing," Johnson said. "It'sa very positive way to involve and educate the community about homeless issues.
"It kind of tags on to our Boxes for Blankets campaign, and we've really had little to do with (organizing Hoops for the Homeless). Jerry's really taken the initiative in the planning of it."
State Sen. Philip Jimeno and U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen also will be on hand at the event, which features WBAL editor Charles Stroble leading his all-stars against Leisher's team.