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Friends set up fund for area Boston bomb victims

The Charlotte Athletic Club announced Friday it has launched the Be Strong Stay Strong Fund, to help two Charlotteans and a relative who were injured in Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The fund is designed to help pay the medical costs of Nicole and Michael Gross and Nicole’s sister, Erika Brannock of Maryland.

The three were standing near the finish line of the marathon, waiting to cheer on Nicole’s and Erika’s mother, when the bombs went off. Michael Gross was treated but released from the hospital. His wife and her sister suffered serious injuries, requiring multiple surgeries.

Nicole Gross suffered two broken legs and other fractures. Erika Brannock lost part of a leg and suffered a number of broken bones.

Michael Gross is general manager of the Charlotte Athletic Club, and Nicole Gross is athletic trainer there.

“We wanted to show our support to our family members here at Charlotte Athletic Club,” said Nicole McAlister Beverage, membership director at the club. “As you would expect, these times have been emotionally draining, and while there is a public thirst for information, we ask for continued patience and some privacy for a while as they work to recover.”

Beverage said 100 percent of donations will go to the Gross and Brannock families, to help with the victims’ medical, physical and emotional needs -- and to help with lost income during the recovery.

For information on making donations, go to www.bestrongstaystrong.net.

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