Friend Raising Money for Nottingham Man Who Died in APG Super Pond
Bowleys Quarters resident Chris Middleton is selling raffle tickets and hosting a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in White Marsh for the family of George H. Lazzaro Jr.
Chris Middleton thought it was a bad dream.
He refused to believe his friend and longtime neighbor George Lazzaro Jr. was gone.
“Still today I have trouble believing that a 41-year-old was taken away from a family with four children. ... It’s not explainable,” said Middleton, who for many years lived next door to Lazzaro in Bowleys Quarters.
Lazzaro, an engineering technician, died on Feb. 1 while performing what officials said in a news release was a "routine underwater test infrastructure maintenance at the Underwater Test Facility” in the Aberdeen Proving Ground Super Pond.
Two more divers have since died in the pond, prompting the base to shut down the facility until further notice.
“It’s still shock,” Middleton said.
Lazzaro, who had moved to Nottingham, is survived by his wife and four children—two in college, and 8- and 4-year-olds at home.
“Obviously, the family is going to need as much help as possible,” Middleton said.
For the last two weeks Middleton has been rallying Nottingham, Perry Hall and Bowleys Quarters neighbors to buy raffle tickets to support the unofficial Lazarro College Fund, for Lazzaro’s four children.
He also organized a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in White Marsh, where the restaurant bar has pledged to donate 15 percent of sales between 6 and 9 p.m. on March 20 to the cause.
“The community is really getting behind it,” Middleton said. “George and I, we go back many years. George had been a local soccer coach in the area for about 18 years—great neighbor. Great coach. Great friend. And a great father.”
Those compeled to donate to the college fund are encouraged to contact Middleton at (443) 992-9174. Raffle tickets are $20, for a chance to win one of three cash prizes: 1) $1,000, 2) $750 or 3) $500.
Tickets can be purchased at the event on March 20.
Middleton will also sell raffle tickets at the Baltimore Blast playoff game this weekend at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore.
>>> Did you know George Lazzaro? Was he your soccer coach? Did you work with him? Did your kids play with his kids? Share your memories of George in the comments section below.
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