Hundreds gathered Monday night to remember a 17-year-old athletic standout from Enosburgh. It was a moving tribute to a student whose life was tragically cut short. Brandon Gleason was killed over the weekend after the Jeep he was in collided with a pick-up truck driven by a man police say was drunk.
"I just wanted to ask all of you to hold you candles up and join me in a moment of silence in honor of his great life," said Franklin County Superintendent Jay Nichols.
It was a moment of silence filled with tears and emotion as parents, and students from many different cliques grieved as one community suffering an immense loss.
"It didn't matter if you were an athlete, if you were a drama star, if you were into music, or four wheelers," Nichols explained. "Brandon touched people from many different social groups and that's one of the reasons why we see this tremendous crowd here tonight."
Many at the candlelight vigil donned the color orange. It's the same color as Brandon Gleason's favorite t-shirt his coach says he wore every chance he got. The 17-year-old was a stand-out athlete in many sports. This winter he scored his 1,000th point in basketball.
I ask you all to please support each other, console each other in the days ahead, help his family and help each other through this tragic time," Nichols said, addressing the large crowd.
"I wanted to thank everybody for showing up -- it gives my whole family support through this whole thing," Bill Gleason, Brandon's father said through tears. Speaking on behalf of his family Bill Gleason spoke of gratitude for the outpouring of support from his small town and offered up advice to parents.
"I want everybody during this year to just hold onto your kids for me please, through the rest of the school season. Hold them close. Keep a good eye on them because life is so precious," said Gleason.
A memorial service for Brandon will be held Saturday at the Enosburgh Falls High School Gymnasium -- the superintendent says there was no church in town that would have been able to hold all the people whose lives Brandon touched.
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