BERLIN — Last November a tragic accident on Route 113 resulted in the death of one teen and the severe injury of another. This week, Pastor Robert Brooks of Solid Rock Outreach Ministry received approval from the Berlin Town Council for a charitable event at Stephen Decatur and Dr. William Henry Parks aimed at helping the family of the victims.
The idea is to assist the family of the two teens through charitable outreach such as tournaments, raffles and a remembrance.
“We want to help their mother commemorate her sons with an Adopt-A-Highway project which we have already begun and been approved for,” said Brooks.
The family has been truly pressed by the accident last year, which took place at the intersection of Routes 113 and 376, when the two teens where struck by a state trooper while crossing Route 113. Tymeir Dennis, 16, lost his life in the collision, while his brother, Tyheym Bowen, lost a leg. Since the accident, Bowen has required extensive treatment and physical therapy.
The fundraising event, titled “Unity in the Community” and scheduled for Saturday Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., should be able to alleviate some of those costs. Bowen also has a strong interest in music, which the community would like to help blossom as well as other more domestic needs for the family.
“We want to raise funds so that he can go to music school. He is an avid drum player and he wants to learn some instruments,” Brooks said. “As well his mother has to travel to Baltimore for his therapy and prosthetics and things like that and her car is not in the best of shape.”
The fundraiser is already gaining traction in the community and could have a few major surprises such as the involvement of professional athletes.
“We have, it’s almost done, Ed Reed from the Ravens is going to come down to speak with the young children,” said Brooks, adding that Tim Brown of Raiders football fame was also being talked to and while neither were confirmed for sure, Solid Rock is optimistic.
As for the nuts and bolts of Unity in the Community, it will be a multi-faceted event. The main draw will be a basketball tournament held in Henry Park with more youth oriented activities available at Stephen Decatur. As part of Adopt-A-Highway initiative, the group will also clean up Route 113 and do a commemorative walk for the two brothers.
“What we’re trying to do with the walk is bring a united front and just show support for nothing really being done for the families since the incident happened,” Brooks said. “We wanted to do something while we’re doing the walk to clean up, to bring something together that would bring the community from all areas to help out.”
The town looked favorably on Unity in the Community. Commissioner Lisa Hall pointed out that the accident on Route 113 last November was unimaginable for the family and shook everyone in Berlin.
“Pastor Brooks, I want to commend you for doing this for the family. This was a tragedy in the community,” she said.
There are some concerns with pedestrian safety with so many activities centered on the highway. With events taking place at both parks, large groups crossing the road is a worry, even with the recently installed crosswalk at the intersection.
“Our only concern is actually traffic itself,” said Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing.
To improve safety, the Route 113 cleanup and walk portions of the event will only be done by adults and a close eye will be kept on pedestrians by the organizers.