Daniel Borowy eats comfortably at the Perry Hall McDonald's, sipping a small soda and dipping his chicken nuggets. The 17-year-old Perry Hall High student, who has Down syndrome, recognizes several of the workers from school.
On Tuesday evening, however, Borowy broke from his normal routine. After his meal, instead of checking out new movies at the Redbox, he greeted dozens of community members with hugs and smiles. He posed for photos and laughed with family and friends.
The "Dinner for Daniel" fundraiser marked more than six weeks since Borowy was randomly shot in the lower back inside of Perry Hall High's cafeteria.
Following three surgeries, Borowy is able to sit and walk, although lingering wounds from his injuries must be re-bandaged daily, according to his mother, Rosemary Borowy. He has not yet returned to school.
"He's real good and doing everything he needs to do," she said, as Daniel Borowy nodded in agreement. "Healthwise, he's doing well."
As part of the McDonald's fundraiser, 25 percent of the night's sales will be donated to the Borowy family to help cover medical expenses. Proceeds from plastic "Prayers for Daniel" bracelets and collection jars will also be presented to the family, according to part-owner of the Perry Hall franchise Richard Rush.
"When we heard about the tragedy at the school, we felt compelled to help out Daniel in any way we could," Rush said.
Manager Wanda Muse said the restaurant has worked to broaden Borowy's support system.
"Most of our employees, at least the part-timers, go to the high school. They all know him and wanted to help him," Muse said. "When bad things happen to good people, you have to do something."
Several fundraisers and benefits have honored Borowy since the shooting. Most recently, he was also chosen to throw the ceremonial opening pitch during the first Orioles-Yankees playoff game. There, he was joined by guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, who is credited with stopping the student shooter during the attack.
Rosemary Borowy said that community support has played a major role in his recovery.
"I think Daniel just thinks the whole world knows him and is there for him. That's great for him. He knows he has a lot of people looking out for him," she said.
She said she has struggled to put her gratitude toward community members into words.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, from the moment that this happened, for thinking about Daniel and praying for Daniel and helping him ... The prayers meant more than anything. I believe that's what pulled Daniel through," she said.
Has the shooting changed the Perry Hall community? Tell us why or why not in the comments.