Brady Elbaum took his own life in September 2022.

He was only 15 years old.

Earlier this year I met his parents, Scott and Michelle, at an event we had at the Marlboro Diner. They shared the story of this bright young man who left us far too young.

Scott and Michelle were not going to let Brady's memory fade or have his loss be in vain.

So they rallied their emotions, friends and neighbors and launched Brady's Voice.

Here's a brief explanation from the charity's website:

"Brady’s Voice is an approved 501(c)3 nonprofit charity founded in memory of Brady Elbaum, who passed away by suicide in 2022. Brady’s Voice is dedicated to helping young people cope with mental health challenges and preventing suicide. We aim to educate schools, students, and families on the warning signs of suicide, provide access to resources and support, and promote a culture of openness and support for those struggling with mental health challenges."

More than 200, maybe 300, Old Bridge residents packed into the school gymnasium, as the rain kept us from the original plan to be at Lombardi Field.

The 1st annual 'Brady's walk,' inside Carl Sandburg Middle School gymnaisum (Photo via Bill Spadea)
The 1st annual 'Brady's walk,' inside Carl Sandburg Middle School gymnaisum (Photo via Bill Spadea)

Local members of the Air Force ROTC, which Brady was a proud member before his passing, brought in the Colors for the National Anthem.

Megan, the student performing the anthem, brought the house down, wow what a voice.

I spoke briefly about mental health and the critical importance of teaching kids how to overcome adversity.

We need to end the culture of "everybody gets a trophy.

This unrealistic worldview is putting our kids into a harsh world without the mental toughness to overcome obstacles and failure.

You can hear my speech here.

If you have a charity event that you would like me to attend and promote, hit us up on the NJ101.5 app and let us know.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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