School event put on hold

Bowling Brook suspends fundraiser after student's death

February 11, 2007|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Sun Reporter

In the wake of the death of a student, Bowling Brook Preparatory School has decided to postpone its breakfast fundraiser.

Although the death was not related to the fundraiser, the school has suspended the monthly event, where students served the community of Union Bridge.

"I suspected this would happen," said Union Bridge Mayor Bret Grossnickle, of the postponed breakfast. "It seems like they did such a good job with those kids, they were always so good at the breakfasts. I hope what happened was an isolated incident and they get it worked out, and hopefully people won't over-react to what happened."

The school had been helping the town of Union Bridge for years with its monthly fundraising breakfast, held to help pay the mortgage on the town hall that was built in 1993. About a dozen students attended the breakfasts at the community center and helped serve and clean up.Isaiah Simmons III, 17, of East Baltimore, died Jan. 23, after a struggle in which staff tried to subdue him when he became agitated and threatened to harm other students and school personnel, officials said.

While school staff worked to calm Simmons, he became lethargic, lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest, according to a release from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which responded to the incident. Paramedics from Union Bridge took Simmons to Carroll Hospital Center, where he died.

The Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into the incident, said spokesman Lt. Phil Kasten.

Bowling Brook is a privately-run residential program in Keymar for juvenile offenders.

Students are boys ages 16 to 19 who generally stay for one year, said Bill Clarke, case management director. The school has approximately 170 students.

Union Bridge paid off its mortgage last June and was going to halt the breakfast. However, the school did not want to see the 14-year tradition end. So school officials offered, with the town's blessing, to continue the fundraiser with proceeds going to Union Bridge.

The school took over the breakfast in October, but didn't move it to the school until last month. More than 400 people attended the first breakfast held in the school's dining hall Jan. 21.

Those attending the breakfast had nothing but praise for the school, the food and the students.

Grossnickle said the town will continue to support the school, which is four miles away on Crouse Mill Road.

Officials from Bowling Brook did not return phone calls.

ellie.baublitz@baltsun.com

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