Falcons volleyball fans packed the home stands in the Briar Woods High School’s gymnasium Thursday night, doing their part to cheer on the girls and support the Kaplan family.
The Falcons hosted the Potomac Falls Panthers, and Briar Woods’ Varsity Club turned the evening into a benefit event for the Kaplans. Ben Kaplan, a Briar Woods senior, and his two younger sisters were injured in a car crash on Evergreen Mills Road on Sept. 8. Their mother, Erin Kaplan, did not survive the crash.
Money made from admissions and T-shirts that read #kaplanstrong were donated to the family, to cover funeral and medical costs. In all, more than $4,300 was raised.
Ben Kaplan, who is still undergoing treatment at Inova Fairfax Hospital, watched last night’s game via Facebook live. His sisters, 11-year-old Sophia and 13-year-old Emma, watched from the sidelines with their father, Faran Kaplan.
“Hi all!” Ben Kaplan posted on the Facebook live feed from his hospital bed.
Briar Woods science teacher Josh Mosser, who had Ben in his AP environmental science class, said he’s been in touch with the 17-year-old almost daily since the crash. Just a few weeks ago, Ben could only communicate by writing on a tablet, but he can now talk. He’s also standing up and making progress each day through physical therapy, Mosser said.
“He’s really fighting. He said his mother is on his mind through each step,” Mosser said. “She would want him to be very strong and work through this.”
Ben told Mosser he wants to graduate at the end of this school year, along with the rest of his class. “So he’s got that goal—it’s in the forefront of his mind as he works to get better,” Mosser said. “He’s a great kid and comes from a great family. They’re feeling this community’s support.”
Senior Peyton Webb, a member of the Varsity Club, said the goal of the evening was to bring all Briar Woods student athletes together to help a fellow Falcon. “We’re from all different varsity teams—soccer, swimming, softball, track—but we want to come together for an important cause,” she said.
The Falcons didn’t do so bad on the court either. They pulled ahead to beat the Panthers 3 sets to 2.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to raise money for the Kaplans. As of Friday afternoon, more than $132,000 had been raised.