The Connor Golden Fund
On July 3, Connor Golden, an 18-year-old from Fairfax, VA, vacationing with friends, stepped on explosive material in a tragic incident in New York's Central Park, mutilating his foot. His leg had to be amputated just below the knee.
Connor, a 2015 graduate of Oakton High School, with a promising career ahead of him, is an accomplished sound technician, musician, outdoors enthusiast, and Eagle Scout. His academic career includes Beginning Bridges preschool, Navy Elementary School, and Franklin Middle School. As a student at Oakton High School, he participated in Oakton’s Cougar Chorus for four years, while serving the performing arts department as the sound technician for major school and department functions. He just completed his freshman year at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music as an honors student studying Music Engineering.
This campaign has been organized by parents of the Oakton Chorus family who are asking you to please help the Golden family as they face extraordinary medical expenses in seeing Connor through his recovery.
Your donation will go directly to the Golden family. The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and has issued a full statement, which can be viewed here .
Those who know Connor know him to be soft-spoken, extremely talented, dedicated to his craft, and always committed in his endeavors. Now, this is your opportunity to show your support and make a difference. Thank you!
How Your Donation Will be Used
Donations are intended to provide funds that are incremental to any other funds that may be available to Connor from other sources. No portion of any donation is intended to be used or applied to reduce or offset any benefits to which Connor Golden would otherwise be eligible or entitled from other sources such as medical insurance, monetary recovery from the perpetrator(s) , or crime victim funds (e.g., any funds that may be available through the New York Office of Victim Services).
During this Fourth of July, the family enjoyed some time together visiting Connor, who is completing an internship in the music industry in North Carolina. Connor will enter his senior year at the University of Miami in the fall, and he wants everyone in this community to know that he has been made stronger by the kindness and support you have provided over the past three years.
We continue to be so thankful to all of you for your continued support and for sharing our son's story in support of our ongoing efforts to get leads and help bring justice for our son, and to get the perpetrator(s) off the streets.
Carol & Kevin
On the investigative front, law enforcement authorities still have not identified the responsible criminals. Today, however, the New York Police Department and the ATF publicized a clue in the case. It consists of a picture of the type of plastic bag that held the explosive material – a branded “La Unica” bag from a local bakery in New York City/New Jersey area. The bakery may now be defunct. We are hopeful that this evidence will stimulate additional leads for the police. The reward offered by the NYPD and ATF for information leading to an arrest stands at $40,000.
Connor continues to demonstrate his physical and mental resilience on his path to recovery. Under the care of his prosthetist in Miami, he has made good strides over the past year. This summer, he is working as a canoe guide at a camp near the boundary waters in northern Minnesota. This job will require him to help lift a canoe and portage it across land in order to access different lakes. We are hopeful that he will continue to recover functionality over the summer and are anxious to see the day when he can resume snow skiing, windsurfing and rock climbing, activities he enjoyed before his amputation.
A number of news outlets carried stories about today's announcement by NYPD and the ATF, and we thank all outlets for their continuing coverage of this case. Here are links to some of the stories. We are including an image of the bag police released today as well. Share this with your social networks in order to help further publicize the matter. Thank you.
I am so happy to hear Connor is home. Home is where the healing continues and will be complete! Best wishes to a great young man who has a wonderful family and community to help with moral support and other support. I hope there will be a local neighborhood opportunity to meet and great Connor when he is feeling better. Bernice
Much sympathy for Connor and sincere best wishes for the continued improvement of his use of the prosthetic limb. While this incident is so sad, it is at least inspiring and encouraging to witness Connor's courage and fortitude in facing this adversity. I hope he finds both the rest and the energy he needs to persevere. I also really, really hope they bring the perpetrator of this crime to complete justice.
The links provided to contact legislators are dead ends~ no page found. Keep up the good work, Connor. So proud of you!
confused as to why medical would not be covered under crime victims. are they saying no crime??!!
So happy to see Connor getting on with his life. It's a disgrace how insurance companies give so little consideration to quality of life issues. Having worked as an RN for 35 years, I know how important specialized equipment is to improved function and well-being. Wishing God's blessings on Connor, his family and friends to continue!
So glad to see Connor doing well, and seemingly at peace with the incident. I do want to make two corrections, however. Namely, as of today, police still do not believe a crime had occurred so no arrest is warranted. The reward then is merely for information, regardless of whether there is an arrest. The official word is, is was likely an "experiment with fireworks or homemade explosives," with no intent to harm. Apparently, the experiment failed to detonate so the bag was simply left there as garbage, in a place that people don't normally go. Regardless, the Goldens should hire an insurance attorney to sue United Healthcare. Just the threat of bad publicity may get them to change their mind.
I'm heartened to see your picture. I live close to the Park entrance and actually, although you're obviously a stranger, think of you and that accident every time I pass the site. I am all too familiar with the vagaries and unfairness of insurers as my wife endured a difficult and prolonged illness for five plus years. I'm not enough of an optimist to think that what happened to you happened for a reason but neither am I enough of a pessimist to believe that you won't make better music as a result of your life experience. I read a quote recently from Bob Dylan that what he most enjoys is the spaces between the notes, because they give him a chance to create and express himself. Here's to happy "spaces" to come for you. Mel
Hello Connor sending you the best wishes for a full recovery. You may think this is the end of the world but please let me tell you about my husband Chuck Bryant. After a motorcycle accident He was an amputee like you, below the knee, in 1984. You can read about him on the Wikipedia Marathon article under multiple marathons. He was the first - and I think still only - amputee to complete the 50 & DC circuit, one in each state plus DC. Don't give up. Chuck had a wonderful life and nothing held him back until this year, he passed away from cancer unrelated to the amputation. He loved to talk to and meet people in his situation and he really gave them hope. I hope this helps you a little, and I hope you stay strong and carry on with a full and active life. Here's the excerpt from the Wikipedia article : Over 350 individuals have completed a marathon in each state of the United States plus Washington, D.C. and some have done it as many as eight times. Beverly Paquin, a 22-year-old nurse from Iowa, was the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states in 2010. A few weeks later, still in 2010, Morgan Cummings (also 22) became the youngest woman to complete a marathon in all 50 states and DC. In 2004, Chuck Bryant of Miami, Florida, who lost his right leg below the knee, became the first amputee to finish this circuit. Bryant has completed a total of 59 marathons on his prosthesis.
Conner, I'm so glad to hear you're recovering and up and around. You're a very brave young man and I think of you often. Best, John
Challenged Athletes Foundation
Connor - hope this comment finds you well.Like you, I am an outdoor enthusiast, graduate of a Fairfax school, and Eagle Scout. Every year, I participate in an event whose sponsoring organization provides resources and mentorship to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.I have met so many amazing people who have been impacted in so many different ways. You may want to check out their website, youtube videos, or contact CAF directly (or me). Good luck with your recovery, Rick Barnard
Connor, Continuing to wish you all the best as you head back to school. We know you will go on to do great things!
Glad to see that the contributions now far exceed the original target, but more is still needed. Most importantly, we hope that Connor's treatment and rehab are moving along smoothly, and that real progress is in sight. Again, "chin up": Life was momentarily mean but it will get better and so will you Connor. Best wishes from this New Yorker.
A message to Connor - I am a left leg below the knee amputee(November 5, 2015 was my surgery) due to a rare form of cancer. I know it was very helpful to me to speak with other amputees. If you have any questions or would just like to talk(I know exactly what you are going through), please pm me on Facebook for my email & number. I hope I can help, I know how great it is for me to speak with other amputees. My Facebook name is Lesley Sara
So sorry your trip to NYC was a memory like it was. May you heal quickly, find strength in everyday & remember that no matter what happens in life people & strangers do care & are praying for you. All the BEST!