Tom Hapka holds one of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater helmets that will be among the Warhawk memorabilia raffled off Saturday at Family Day activities at Willow Brook Golf Course after the hosts’ game against UW-Oshkosh. Head coach Kevin Bullis and other coaches and players are scheduled to attend the fundraiser to benefit Hapka, a brain injury survivor, and his family. (Submitted photo)

Warhawk football coaches, players join effort to help local brain injury survivor

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater head football coach Kevin Bullis and retired head coach Bob Berezowitz are scheduled to join a postgame reception and fundraiser for local brain injury survivor Thomas Hapka after the Warhawks’ football game against UW-Oshkosh on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Life Beyond Brain Injury organized the event that will be held at Willow Brook Golf Course. Some UW-W players also will be on hand to meet fans at the former Whitewater County Club, which is located at N9035 Highway 89 in Whitewater.

There will be appetizers, a 50/50 cash raffle and a silent auction of UW-Whitewater sports items, including a game-used helmet, two 2014 national championship commemorative footballs, team-signed footballs and other memorabilia.

The event is free and open to the public. However, donations are being accepted, with all proceeds going toward Hapka’s medical fund.

Hapka, 48, and a UW-Whitewater graduate, was injured in July 2000 when an artery in his neck was torn during a chiropractic procedure and medical personnel at a nearby emergency room failed to diagnose his brain injury for almost three days, according to a news release.

Hapka never received a legal settlement, and the ongoing complications from his brain injury have financially devastated him and his family.

Starr Lee is a founding member of Life Beyond Brain Injury and a journalism student at UW-Whitewater. She said the group planned the fundraiser as part of the school’s Family Day festivities.

“Family Day is all about UW-Whitewater families, and Tom’s family has a deep, longstanding connection to this university,” Lee said in the news release. “Tom’s dad, who died last year, worked at the campus for more than 37 years. And the Hapka family has provided more than 100 years of dedicated service to UW-Whitewater. Now the Hapkas need their Warhawk family to rally around them, and that’s our call to action for this year’s Family Day.”

For information, call 262-458-4090 or email to info@LifeBeyondBrainInjury.org.

 
 

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