In the spring of 2019, while visiting family in Arizona, Hunter Reinholt died from an overdose of painkillers prescribed for his grandfather. Hunter’s mother, Tracy, experienced every parent’s nightmare when she found her son sitting “lifeless in a chair, the victim of a drug overdose.” 

Out of this tragedy #HuntersWorld was born. #Hunter’s world is a teen mentoring program in Jersey City that gives teenagers a safe place to discuss personal challenges and struggles with the support of their peers. 

Reinholt came up with the concept for #HuntersWorld during a heartfelt conversation between her and some of Hunter’s closest friends. 

“I truly believe that if he had found the space, the words, the vulnerability to discuss his challenges with his peers – he would have made a different choice that night, and he would still be here.  That’s why I founded #HuntersWorld – to keep other teens and their parents from suffering a similar fate.” Indeed, in the year leading up to his death, Hunter had been struggling with problems at home. 

#HuntersWorld aims to fight the crisis of depression and anxiety among teens by destigmatizing these mental health issues and teaching them to talk about their challenges.  Recent studies show peer mentoring has a measurable positive impact on self-esteem, building relationships with adults, and teen’s attitudes towards school.  

The teen mentors of #HuntersWorld will be holding a virtual Halloween Gala, with the help of Broadway and West End performer Tom Sellwood.

This event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29, via a private Zoom link from 7 PM to 8:30 PM. The event includes a costume contest and entertainment. There will be a silent auction with an opportunity to win a private Zoom call with CBS Sunday Morning journalists Mo Rocca and Faith Salie. 

Tickets to the #HuntersWorld Halloween Gala cost $20. 

For more information, click to learn about the virtual gala and here to learn about the silent auction.

Franchesca is a student at St. Peter's University and coordinator of Jersey City Times' Events Calendar.

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