The Crowd: Brain injury foundation created in Newport Beach

Orange County has more good causes per capita than just about any community in the nation.

Recently, an athlete named Brian Hutchison decided to create a non-profit foundation to help others, based on his own personal experience with traumatic brain injury, known as TBI.

Two years ago, Hutchison suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing softball. The team's most valuable player, Hutchison made an extended reach for a fly ball that resulted in a life threatening injury to his head. He was airlifted off of the field and was not expected to survive.

Making a remarkable recovery, Hutchison took control of his rehabilitation. Today his mission is to assist others who have suffered a similar fate, and working with medical professionals, he is developing programs aimed at achieving maximum results for TBI recovery.

At the Coast Point Restaurant in Newport Beach before the holidays, some 200 friends and supporters of Hutchison's goals came together, donating a minimum of $150 per person with the goal of raising $50,000 to provide for start up costs for the TBI foundation in Orange County.

The foundation is called The Hutch Fund. Net funds raised will go to developing a program in Southern California, which will be the first and only full service integrated patient center with therapy dedicated to achieving TBI recovery.

Working with Hutchison on the recent start up event were Paul Holmes, Lisa Meller, and Jeff Mueller. While his softball injury cut his promising athletic career short, Hutchison is on an important new road achieving tremendous personal goals for rehabilitation and overcoming physical challenges inspiring others to do the same and not give up on life following a traumatic injury.

Eventually The Hutch Fund hopes to fund and open a therapeutic trauma center that will be a state-of-the-art facility for TBI victims. To learn more go to bhutichson@www.hutchfoundation.org

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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