$5,100 raised for Diviney family
Published: Monday, April 4, 2011
Updated: Monday, April 4, 2011 13:04
A fundraiser for the family of Ryan Diviney, a West Virginia University student whose November 2009 attack placed him into coma, raised approximately $5,100.
Diviney, a sophomore political science major at the time of the attack, was brutally beaten outside the Willey Street Dairy Mart Foods, resulting in a hemorrhage of the brain stem.
Morgantown's Dragonfly Sushi Bar Grill hosted the fundraiser Saturday.
More than $8,000 was raised for the Diviney family at last year's Dragonfly fundraiser.
Daniel Brewster, sociology and anthropology professor and Diviney family friend, said the event was an overall success.
"Every dollar that we make through donations, the silent auction and a portion of the proceeds from sales of Dragonfly will be given to the family to make all decisions and pay for the bills," Brewster said. "They have conservatively estimated they have spent more than $200,000 just this year in medical expenses."
Dave Small, a general studies major who became good friends with Ryan in the months before his tragic accident, said he accompanied Brewster in attending the trials to provide moral support to the family.
"I've become an advocate within campus safety and off-campus safety in the past year," Small said, who played a key role in organizing the event.
According to Small, the entire restaurant was reserved, and more than 800 people attended the event Saturday night.
Kari Diviney, Ryan's sister and a freshman general studies major at WVU, attended last year's event and noticed a greater success in Saturday's event.
"This year is even more amazing because I know so many more people, and I'm able to interact with more people," Kari said.
The Diviney family recognized the help and support Brewster and the WVU community have had for the family.
"I feel like Brewster is an amazing man," Kari said. "He has never given up and simply does what he believes in. He doesn't believe in violence, and he just wants to help people in any way he can."
The traditional approaches to brain injury haven't produced the effects the Diviney family wanted, so they are pursuing more advanced treatments, which are more experimental and research-based for Ryan, according to Ken Diviney, Ryan's father.
"I want students to recognize that they need to be held accountable for their actions and that this can happen to anyone," Brewster said. "We do see violent crimes all the time in this town, and it's just important to know that this is common."
4/4 Correction: It was incorrectly stated Diviney had a tragic death. This is incorrect, he is currently in a coma.