Benefit set today for bear attack victim

Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2003

The Sunrise Inn in Cooper Landing will host a benefit concert today to raise funds for Daniel Bigley of Girdwood, who was mauled by a bear three weeks ago while fishing at the Russian River.

"Daniel is a talented young outdoorsman for whom circumstance was unkind," said Johnny Car-penter, an employee at the inn and one of the people organizing the event.

"We have an opportunity, though, to express the compassion and caring that make Alaskans the strong people we are," Carpenter said. "It happened in this community, so it's up to this community to show support."

The event will feature live music by the Denali Cooks from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be a silent auction from 4 p.m. until midnight, made possible by donations from several individuals and businesses throughout Southcentral Alaska. A bear safety clinic also will take place during the event.

"There are also donation cans in almost every business around here to raise funds to help offset the cost of medical bills, and an account has been opened in Daniel's name," Carpenter said.

The account is at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, account number 1093488.

"Once everything is said and done, the medical bills will be tremendous, so we're hoping to raise a large chunk of money to help out with them," said Carpen-ter.

Bigley, 23, was blinded by the bear and remains in serious condition. He is still recovering at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, so he will not be able to attend the event.

Carpenter said Bigley's spirits are high, though.

"He's a man in need, and we want to give him all the support we can," he said. "If it happened to any of us, I'm sure it's what we would want."

The inn is at Mile 45 of the Sterling Highway. For more information or to make a donation, call (907) 595-1222.

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