Giants and Dodgers fans alike were horrified when Bryan Stow, dedicated father of two as well as a dedicated Giants fan, was beaten savagely outside Dodger Stadium at the home opener baseball game on March 31.
Stow remains in critical condition as of April 14. Fundraisers have been held across the state to benefit Stow’s family, which is still recovering from the shock of the incident.
Hundreds of Giants fans and Stow supporters gathered at a fundraiser held at El Palomar restaurant in Santa Cruz on April 11 to show their support for the Santa Cruzan. Over $25,000 in donations were raised. Danny Simon, friend and roommate of Stow, said he planned the event to show local support.
“I wanted a fundraiser to be done here so Bryan’s family and friends that he’s known since high school could come here,” Simon said. “I just wanted to do something so that everyone could come together and celebrate here in town.”
Stow went to Soquel High School. Many of his friends came to the fundraiser to donate, buy raffle tickets, participate in the silent auction and watch the game in the back of the restaurant. Early in the evening, Simon said he was happy to see all of the camaraderie.
“First we didn’t think there were going to be enough people here to bid on things,” Simon said. “Now I’m afraid there are too many people. It’s crazy, and it’s just started.”
By 8 p.m., only one hour into the event, hundreds of people had already stopped by. The entire event lasted a total of four hours. By the end of the night, over a thousand raffle tickets had been sold.
“Again, it’s the local community of Santa Cruz coming out and supporting one of their own,” Simon said. “It’s what this town does.”
This is exactly what helped him secure donations for the silent auction and raffle, he said.
“Not one person told me ‘No,’” Simon said. “I came to many different places, people I knew or didn’t know, and everybody just said, ‘What do you need? What do you want? Is that enough?’ It was incredible.”
Kimi Hanson, manager of El Palomar, said she was glad to be able to help Simon with the event on behalf of Stow. She became friends with Stow after he and Simon frequented El Palomar many times in the past. Hanson plans on making a private donation from the restaurant to the Stow family, which will be sent to them along with the funds raised by the silent auction and raffle.
“He’s a lifesaver and a family man,” she said. “Just overall a really nice guy.”
Santa Cruz resident Jonathan Nelson, who works with Stow at Santa Clara Operations, attended Monday night’s fundraiser. He said he had already been to a similar fundraiser in Santa Clara, where he made a donation to the Stow family.
“Bryan is a great guy who would give everything he could to somebody to save their life,” he said. “So it’s just really ironic that something like this would happen to him. It’s really sad.”
He commended the Giants for bringing attention to the violence, calling them a “very classy organization.” He also praised the community for coming together to help out in light of the tragedy.
“We really feel for his children and for the family,” Nelson said. “This has been just phenomenal.”