Bartlett marks anniversary with balloon launch
Thursday marks a difficult anniversary for the Bartlett community.
"It feels like it was just yesterday," Bartlett athletic director Jeff Bral said. "I remember where I was, I remember what I was doing."
On June 4, 2019, Bartlett girls basketball coach Brad Hunt had returned to his South Elgin home from a camp and was mowing his yard when he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Hunt was a beloved member of the school, known for his attention to detail and hard work as a coach, and his dedication to making life better for all his students. Also a physical education teacher and assistant softball coach, Hunt and his wife Emily have two children, Brady and Madison.
On Thursday, parents are organizing a balloon launch at noon from the school's parking lot in Hunt's memory.
"As we approach one year of a world without Brad, I continue to be humbled by the ways that the Bartlett community has honored my husband," Emily Hunt said. "They have truly recognized his life efforts in teaching and coaching. Sports were his passion and it would mean so much to him that his team was gathering a year later to pay their respects."
It was an emotionally filled season with tributes to Hunt in the home opener and also several moments of silence when the Hawks played their road games in the Upstate Eight Conference.
Bartlett also planned to hold a walk during the softball season for Hunt, who was just 43. It had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The balloon launch will give families a chance to gather, share memories and show their support for the Hunt family.
"It's hard to believe it has been a year," Bral said. "It was an emotional roller coaster year. I miss the guy dearly. Sometimes you feel a little shorted because there was so much to come. It's time to support Emily and his family."