By Chris Concannon
Gloucester City News
BELLMAWR NJ-As the sun began to set on the afternoon of September 12, a tree was planted on the front lawn of the Bellmawr Park firehouse on Essex Avenue to honor a young drowning victim. Bradley Calhoun, who would have turned 6 years old on the 12th, was the tragic victim of a freak drowning accident over this past Fourth of July weekend.
His father, Tom Calhoun, is a retired Chief from Bellmawr Park Volunteer Fire Company.
The idea to purchase and plant the Dwarf Chinese Maple came from friend and fellow firefighter Kurt Peterson who, along with his wife, Ashley, researched to select the tree.
Peterson said they chose the small maple, as it will have a chance to grow from the tiny sapling it currently is.
It was also noted that On the Edge Landscaping of Bellmawr would finish the area around the tree, as well as maintain it.
A plaque was also unveiled. It is set in the ground in front of the tree, and is inscribed with an image of Bradley, along with the words, “Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, so loved, so missed, so very dear.”
Elizabeth Calabria, Bellmawr Park School Principal, and Brad’s Kindergarten teacher Dana Scarborough, were among the many friends and family on hand for the occasion.
Bradley Thomas Calhoun is survived by his parents, Tom and Tara, and his sister, Melani, 7, who just began second grade at the school.