By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Jan. 4, 2018) Pocomoke-based Hardwire LLC is leading fundraising efforts to help the family of Mayor Bruce Morrison pay for medical costs, following his traumatic brain injury in late November.
Morrison was rushed to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury on Nov. 29 with an apparent subdural hematoma, and then transferred to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
According to a Dec. 26 text from Morrison’s wife, Laura, the mayor was recently taken to the sixth floor of Christiana Hospital in what she called “a turning point.”
“This is the stroke floor with rehab capabilities. This is the next step before an actual rehabilitation facility,” she said. “Please keep the prayers coming – they are working and since we have a long way to go we can’t stop now!”
Meanwhile, Hardwire Chairman and CEO George Tunis helped raise more than $24,000 on a GoFundMe page, including a $14,000 donation from the company.
“I’ve known the mayor before he was mayor,” Tunis said in a phone interview, last Wednesday. “He works for the company and Bruce is just a really good soul. He’s been a great employee and he’s been with us since the early days.
“He’s just one of those guys that works all day, he’s working at night cutting grass, he’s the mayor. He helped his kids start a little bakery on the corner and puts on the Christmas parade, and he’s the president of the Maryland Mayors Association,” he continued. “The poor guy took a lump, that’s for sure.”
Before Morrison became mayor, Tunis said, “I don’t even think we had a Ruby Tuesdays yet – we didn’t have a hotel” in Pocomoke. “For a growing business, when you don’t have a place for people to stay nearby when they come visit you from out of town [it’s not ideal],” Tunis said. “For us, it’s just been great to see Pocomoke prosper and slowly rebuild their waterfront.”
Tunis said the GoFundMe page was started shortly after he received news of the injury. The company donated the maximum it could under IRS regulations before paying gift-tax penalties, and he said Hardwire would make another donation in 2018.
“GoFundMe is a pretty good vehicle and we’ve seen it work for some folks before,” he said. “The beauty is, it’s not just how much they gave – it’s that a lot of people are giving. It’s helped even our company be more cohesive. I’m pretty sure every single person in the company gave and a lot of people around town have given.”
Even his daughter and her classmates at Virginia Tech got into the act, Tunis said.
“They’re working two jobs to get themselves through school and they gave $5 – that’s the beauty of Go-FundMe,” he said. “I just think the more we get the word out, it’s a show of support and it means the world to him.”
Tunis said he last visited Morrison in the hospital on Christmas Eve.
“It was probably one of the most meaningful experiences of my life,” he said. “To see him and to see him react – it was incredible. He’s had a rough injury and it’s like I could hear him – I did hear him … He’s been in there for 29 days and all of the sudden we were laughing and crying together.”
Morrison, he said, is keenly aware of the public support he’s received, including donations, mailed letters and cards, and hundreds of posts on social media sending thoughts and prayers.
“He knows what’s going on and it’s making a difference in his state,” Tunis said.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/healmayormorrison.