Teary-eyed members of Bryan Stow's family received hugs of support Tuesday from Philadelphia Phillies fans who pitched in to help the San Francisco Giants fan at an LA fundraiser.
The Shack on Wilshire Boulevard is usually packed when Philly fans watch their favorite teams. On Tuesday night, they turned out for the "Philly-LA Has a Heart'' comedy benefit.
Proceeds from the event, which included a silent auction, wine tasting and comedy acts, went to The Bryan Stow Fund. Stow was assaulted March 31 in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
He remains hospitalized in the Bay Area and two suspects in the case pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom.
"We have so many hugs to give him," said Ann Stow, Bryan Stow's mother. "Everyone is saying, 'Give Bryan a hug.'"
Ann Stow and Bryan Stow's sisters attended the event. They said they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
"This is probably one of the biggest (fundraisers) we've done," said sister Erin Collins. "We are teary eyed -- all these strangers that are here for Bryan and praying for Bryan. We're so grateful. LA has felt like a second home to us."
The family stayed at the same Marriot hotel they were at when Stow was hospitalized in the weeks after the assault at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Collins said hotel staff left a card for them and greeted them with hugs.
"We tell him every day, 'You're not going to believe this when you wake up,'" said sister Bonnie Stow.
The Phillies fans e-mailed Bonnie Stow about organizing the event. Soon after, donations of raffle prizes began arriving for the event.
"This couldn't be a better event for Bryan -- comedy, music, a sports bar, sports fans," said Bonnie Stow. "It's Bryan wrapped up into a fundraiser."
Stow was moved to a Bay Area facility in mid-May.
Alonzo Bodden, Dwayne Perkins, Erin Foley and Ray Grady performed at Wednesday's fundraiser. During his act, Grady asked the Stow family what Bryan Stow likes to drink -- his favorite is Newcastle, so the comedian ordered one and gave a toast to Stow.
A Kiss Before Leaving
As for Stow's condition, family members said they've seen improvement, but still take things day by day.
A high-point came before Bonnie Stow left for the LA fundraiser. When asked for a kiss, Stow responded by turning his head and puckering his lips.
Bonnie Stow said she was shocked.
"The first time it happened, it was kind of like, 'What haven't we asked him yet to see what he can do?'" said Bonnie Stow. "It's usually something like raising a hand. It was great to see."
She said she asked him for a kiss 10 times and received the same response.
"I just can't wait to see if he'll give me kisses," said Collins.