Brain Injury Center to Honor VC Public Service Group and Brain Trauma Survivor at Annual Gala

October 10, 2012
Santa Paula News

The Brain Injury Center of Ventura County will honor the Meadowlark Service League and Su Stork, a brain trauma survivor and long-time activist, for their contributions to helping people with brain injuries.

BIC’s “Above and Beyond Award’ will be presented to the winners at its annual fund raising event October 27 at the Embassy Suites in Oxnard.  

The event is entitled “An Evening of Magical Memories” and includes a performance by noted magician Mark Collier, a gourmet dinner, an update on the status of brain injury in Ventura County and around the nation, plus silent and live auctions.  It gets underway at 5:30 p.m.  The non-profit Brain Injury Center relies on this event as its chief source of funding each year.

The Meadowlark Service League is a non-profit organization of women dedicated to raising funds for a variety of local charitable organizations and programs in Ventura County that provide important services to the population.   MSL awarded $233,000 this year alone in grants to meritorious non-profit organizations and scholarships to local graduating high school seniors and continuing college students.  The Brain Injury Center, which serves the entire county out of its Camarillo headquarters, was a recipient for the fourth year in a row.

Su Stork received a traumatic brain injury 25 years ago in a near-fatal automobile crash.  Her recovery was slow and arduous, but she did regain her ability to walk and talk.  For many years since she has done her best to promote brain injury awareness and assist others with this disability in Ventura County.  Her parents, Dave and Midge Stork, were the original founders of the Brain Injury Center in the days when there was little or no help for survivors and their families.

“Su has been a real inspiration to us all over the years,” said David Wilk, president of the Brain Injury Center.  “Overall I cannot think of another family that has done more than the Storks to help people overcome the monumental challenges that become the everyday reality of living with a brain injury.”

Santa Barbara magician Mark Collier has been entertaining audiences professionally for over 20 years. He has performed his award winning magic all over the U.S. and in countries such as Japan, Italy, Holland, France and Tahiti.  His irreverent, tongue-in-cheek style of self-deprecating comedy contrasts with his surprising skill as a sleight-of-hand artist and accomplished juggler. In March of 2005, Mark was awarded “Strolling Magician of the Year” at the World Famous Hollywood Magic Castle.

BIC is the non-profit organization that serves Ventura County’s approximately 16,000 people who live with a brain injury, as well as their families.  Brain damage can be caused by a blow to the head, infectious disease or stroke.  A serious brain injury never heals and can present significant, lifelong challenges.  Problems with speech, memory, cognitive skills and general confusion are common.  Many people with brain injuries can no longer work, drive or live on their own.

“We are the go-to organization solely dedicated to helping brain injury survivors and their families rebuild their lives,” said Joan Moore, BIC’s executive director.  “We provide support, education, outreach and advocacy.  A big focus is heightening public awareness by conducting educational programs all around Ventura County.”  One such program includes the prestigious Ventura County Brain Injury Conference each spring.

The non-profit Brain Injury Center receives no state or federal funding and relies entirely on donations and grants to support its activities.  The October fund raiser accounts for near 50 percent of its annual funding.  Tickets to the fund raiser and/or the opportunity to make donations to BIC are available by calling 805.482.1312 or by visiting the organization’s website at

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