Forsyth County community members came together over the weekend to support a 17-year-old former local football player after he lost both of his parents to COVID-19 in the span of only a few days.
Justin Hunter played on Denmark High School’s football last year, and he and his parents, Angie and Eugene, made many friends in Forsyth County before leaving for Johns Creek. Those that the Hunter family impacted in the county came forward this weekend after learning that both Angie and Eugene died within four days of each other after battling with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
A community member, Frank DuCille, started a GoFundMe to help establish a trust fund for Justin Hunter, an only child. As of Monday, Aug. 3, over 4,000 people have helped raise more $260,000 for Hunter, almost reaching the set goal of $300,000.
While many have been donating, they have also left comments, sharing stories of their time with the Hunter family and offering their condolences.
“Justin you’re truly an amazing young man,” Latesa Crosby-Pollard wrote. “I never met you but knew both your parents. We grew up together in ministry here in Jacksonville. Your grandmother Mother Haynes was my Sunday School teacher for many years. Your father was a talented and gifted saxophonist. I can truly say that your parents were genuinely good, kind and compassionate people. They were loved by so many and will truly be missed. Continued prayers.”
Many others who donated said they that although they do not know Hunter or his family, they wanted to show support to families dealing with loss from COVID-19 in any way that they can.
“I know it’s a small amount, but we just went through a tragic lost, too,” Ricky Martinez wrote. “In honor of my father, Pantaleon, who also passed away due to COVID-19. Stay strong young man.”
Hunter posted to Twitter Friday, thanking everyone in the community for the love and support. He said that although he is not responding to messages or calls right now, he plans to get back in touch with everyone in the community who has reached out soon.
“I hope you know a lot of people looked up to you including myself,” Hunter wrote in a small note to his parents. “Y’all were and always will be my biggest role models. Thank you, God, for putting the best parents in my life. I hope y’all are up there having a party. I love you guys so much and will miss you so much. You guys will forever be carried in my heart. And from this day on, everything I do is for you. I love you mom, I love you dad. Rest in paradise.”