REDMOND, OR -- A local family hopes to turn a recent tragedy into opportunities for other students. Travis Holmes says his son Hunter was a well-balanced 16-year-old: a Junior at Redmond High School, Captain of his golf and soccer teams, and a good student who never showed any signs of depression. But, he says Hunter changed in late 2017, "In the last year of soccer, at the tail end, he received two concussions. It was probably a month or two [later], that he took his own life."
At the funeral in December, Holmes learned just how special his son was, "We didn’t know he had some qualities that were acts of kindness to other people. There were students that came from other schools, that had no friends, and Hunter was one of those guys that reached out to them; he was one of the only ones who reached out to them. And there were several people who came up to us and told us that." He hopes to award one scholarship to an RHS Senior, each year, who displays those same qualities, "It has to do with recognizing those acts of kindness and compassion to other students, and raising awareness that those kinds of acts can impact somebody’s life. The second awareness is, trying to just raise awareness to teen suicide that might not have the most obvious signs." The first $1,000 scholarship will be awarded this year to a student nominated by their peers or school staff.
After Hunter's death, as an outlet for their grief, Holmes and his family started planning a golf tournament; a four-man scramble at Meadow Lakes in Prineville, which is now sold out. "It’s actually kind of blown up past anything I thought it would be. This thing started out to be, like – I just wanted our friends and family [to have] somewhere to go to sort of release some tension and get together and have the community get together over this deal, and use the money to raise awareness and do some other things, which we have going. But, people want to get involved so much, it has just gone crazy." He says they're still looking for volunteers to help at the May 12th tournament. Click HERE
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The golf tournament will raise money for the newly formed Hunter Holmes Memorial Fund, which received its 501(c)(3) designation, last week. Holmes says the nonprofit will fund the annual scholarship and other teen suicide awareness efforts. And, he's hoping to soon produce a video on the dangers of concussions. "My wife Erica, she’s been talking to a doctor in Bend that has a whole team focused on youth and concussions, and the impact of that. So, we’re looking at all kinds of things that we can use the money for."