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Fundraiser planned for J.D. Bruning

A fundraising event has been planned for Maumelle resident, Jon David Bruning, who was injured in a recent accident.

The event will be held Friday, Sept. 6 at Maumelle Country Club from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

J.D., as his friends and family call him, is the son of Jacki and Dave Bruning of Maumelle. He is the grandson of Charleen Akins, also of Maumelle.

Bruning, 22, was injured in a diving accident on July 6 while floating the Elk River in southwest Missouri. While diving into unexpectedly shallow water, his head struck rocks on the bottom of the river causing extensive damage to the vertebrae in his neck.

He is currently paralyzed from the chest down and dealing with several difficulties related to the injury.

After several surgeries, he is now a patient at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where he is undergoing extensive rehabilitation. Shepherd Center is one of the top rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury. (www.shepherd.org)

“We are looking to many communities to help with the expenses associated with an accident such as this, including a handicap-equipped van, medical equipment for their home and ongoing rehabilitation,” said Neal Moore, of Maumelle, a family friend and one of the organizers of the fundraising efforts.

Moore is also an opinion columnist for the Monitor.

The Brunings have been involved with their church, First United Methodist Church in Maumelle, and Arkansas Baptist Schools, where both J.D. and their older son Bobby graduated. “The entire Bruning family, Dave, Jacki, Bobby and Jon David are some of the most dedicated Arkansas Baptist family members I have met since coming to Arkansas Baptist Schools,” said Arthur Bennett, head of school.

“Whether it is Dave working the scorers’ table at home basketball games or Jackie taking care of senior night for all sports teams, these two individuals have likely given more volunteer hours to Arkansas Baptist School than any other people I know,” Bennett said.

Bruning, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, was employed at CBRE/Northwest Arkansas, a commercial real estate firm, at the time of the accident. Clinton Bennett, managing broker of the firm, has been at the forefront of helping organize the event. “We are trying to bring two communities together to help the Brunings,” Bennett said. “J.D. has a lot of friends in this area and our company wants to everything we can to help the family.”

“Last year, Jacki organized a surprise the last two Christmases for the Veterans at Fort Roots,“ said Moore. “Her efforts led to a truckload of gift bags for the Vets. This allowed a lot of forgotten Vets to have a brighter and merrier Christmas. That’s the kind of people the Brunings are. Now they need our help.”

The group is in the early stages of organizing the fundraising efforts. Donations can be made at any Bank of the Ozarks location with a check to “The Jon David Bruning Special Needs Trust” or by visiting www. jdbfoundation.org to make a credit card donation. Friends are encouraged to contact the family via CaringBridge.org, search under Jon David Bruning.

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