Centreville Debbie Harrison is a kindergarten teacher at London Towne Elementary and has taught school for nearly 30 years. She’s also a wife and mother. But in April, her life and that of her husband Frank changed forever.
They and their daughter were driving back from their son’s military ceremony in Kentucky, when a tractor trailer smashed into their car. The two women escaped with minor injuries, but Frank was left a quadriplegic.
So on Tuesday, Dec. 4, local group Social Change is holding a fundraiser for them at the new Coyote Grille restaurant in Centreville. It’s at 14101 St. Germain Drive (in the old Shade Tree location in Centrewood Plaza). Hosting the event will be the group’s founder, Julie Sussman of Centreville’s Rocky Run community, and her husband Jerry.
Social Change is comprised of residents from Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Oakton and Fairfax. The participants gather monthly to learn about — and raise funds for — various charities and endeavors. And at next week’s event, all the money raised will go directly to the Harrison family to offset their medical expenses.
“The wonderful people of Coyote Grille have generously offered to donate 15 percent of all food purchased that day — including lunch and dinner take-out and eat-in — to the Harrisons,” said Julie Sussman. The menu may be seen at www.coyotegrille.com and the public is welcome to attend.
In addition, people wishing to help the Harrisons may also go to a jewelry show Thursday, Dec. 6, from 3-7 p.m., at the home of Adrienne Bergquist, 5836 Stone Ridge Drive in Centreville. Her children attended London Towne, and one of them was in Debbie Harrison’s class.
“Adrienne, an independent consultant for Premiere since 1998, has graciously offered to donate 100 percent of all the profits from the jewelry sale to the Harrisons,” said Sussman. “This is a great way for people to buy holiday gifts and help them out, at the same time.”
Bergquist sells Premier Designs high-fashion jewelry. She’s also running a holiday special; with every $75 purchase (before tax and shipping), customers may buy any item up to a $50 value for $5. Those who can’t attend on Dec. 6, but would like to help the Harrisons, may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll send them her catalog.
“I hope people will stop by and help this teacher have a Merry Christmas,” she said. “If they can't come at the designated time, but want to come at a different time, they can just let me know.”