Balloons for Bryce

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. -- A community in Wyoming County is banding together in a time of grief after the death of a young man. Bryce Brown, a 2017 graduate of Tunkhannock Area High School, died last week while at college.

All around Tunkhannock, balloons were on display.

It's to honor 18-year-old Bryce Brown who passed away from two pulmonary embolisms while at college in New York last Friday.

In an effort using the social media hashtag #BalloonsForBryce, the community was encouraged to post balloons outside homes and business on Tuesday, which would have been Bryce's 19th birthday.

Close friend Justin Kozlanski says it helps seeing the outpouring of care.

"All the support for him, all the love, just all the support," Kozlanski said.

At The Mayflower Florist, owner Karen Passarelli had several inflated balloons she was giving away for free to those wanting to honor Bryce.

"We just blew up balloons and said anyone that wants to come in, just pick out three, we just hung them up in the shop. Gather some balloons and spread the love. That's all you can do," Passarelli said.

Bryce graduated from Tunkhannock Area High School in 2017. He also played baseball for the school.

His former classmates held a balloon release before an afternoon of sporting events at the high school.

"We sent off about 35 balloons, and it was just to celebrate our best friend Bryce's birthday, 19th birthday," said senior Jessica Duymond.

There was also a basket raffle and donation jars at the athletic fields to raise money for Bryce's family.

"It's nice to know that our little town of Tunkhannock can come together to support such a great family in the community," senior Angela Colbenson said.

A viewing will be held Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Harding-Litwin Funeral Home in Tunkhannock. The funeral service is set for Thursday morning.

1 Comment

  • kalilee2016

    Please stop with the balloon releases – it only pollutes the environment and deflated balloons and fragments look very attractive as food to animals. In addition, fragments left on the ground or floating in water can easily be eaten. Ingesting balloons can cause death by blocking the digestive and/or respiratory tracts, and is likely to be a slow, agonizing death. Either have a virtual balloon release, blow bubbles, or float flowers down a stream instead.

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