DIXON – Dozens of balloons will swirl in the sky Thursday morning as supporters honor their “Superman,” 7-year-old Colton Fassler, on the day he is laid to rest.
People will gather on the north side of Galena Avenue Bridge and release balloons at 10:30 a.m., as the funeral procession crosses the bridge, said organizer Jen Cathey, of Dixon.
Colton died Thursday at Rockford Memorial Hospital, 11 months after suffering severe brain damage. Police say he was injured Dec. 30 when his stepmother, Tiffany Fassler, 35, of Dixon, kicked him in the chest, causing him to hit his head on a bathroom vanity.
The balloon release is for those who may not attend the funeral but still want to do something in his memory, Cathey said.
“This has touched so many of us, and we don’t even know these people,” she said. “We thought this would be a nice tribute to the family and Colton.”
Participants are encouraged to wear red and blue or a “Support Superman” shirt from fundraising events for Colton, who was a big Superman fan.
Although she didn’t know Colton or his family, Cathey said she often searched for updates on the boy through Facebook.
“We just wanted to show our respect,” she said. “So many of us have been following this story for 11 months. Our hearts are broken. I can’t imagine what the family is going through.”
To learn more about Thursday’s balloon release, go to Facebook and search for “Fly High ‘Superman’ ... This one is for you buddy.”
Colton is the son of Andrew Fassler, 40, and the late Jennifer (Digby) Fassler. He had been living with his mother’s parents, Lew and Karen Digby, of Polo.
In an unrelated case, Andrew Fassler is charged with aggravated domestic battery, accused of throwing his then-9-year-old son down stairs and breaking his arm in October 2009. He is not charged in connection with Colton’s injuries.
Tiffany Fassler is free on bond, charged with aggravated battery of a child; Lee County prosecutors have not yet said whether more serious charges will be filed against her in the wake of his death.
Visitation for Colton Fassler, 7, will be from 2 to 4 and from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Jones Funeral Home in Dixon. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Dixon Church of the Brethren, with burial in Oakwood Cemetery.
Go to www.thejonesfh.com to post condolences.