‘Wear it with pride’: Family pays tribute to late father by leaving Griz hats around Bigfork

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jul 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-21 20:55:31-04

If you are in Bigfork, be on the lookout for Montana Grizzly hats.

A family, determined to keep their dad’s legacy alive, placed them throughout the town.

Susie Collins Hassel pictured with her mother and brother where they placed one of the Griz hats.
(Photo credit: Susie Collins Hassel)

In the hats is a note written by Susie Collins Hassel and her family.

It reads:

“To the finder of this hat, this hat is not lost. It belonged to my dad, Clint, who we lost this past November. He was born and raised in Bigfork and loved this town! In fact, he met my mom at the Bigfork Inn 58 years ago and the rest is history.

He was a huge Montana Grizzly fan and had many Griz hats.”

The note continues with instructions:

“As a tribute to him, we are leaving them around town. So if you are a fan, keep the hat and wear it with pride. If you are not, please give it to someone who is so they can enjoy it.”

The note concludes:

“My dad always signed off our messages, ‘Go Griz’ so I will do the same. GO GRIZ and thank you for carrying on his love of the GRIZ! #CLINTCOLLINS”

The story has been shared thousands of times because of one post. Elly Woll and her husband, Steven Woll, were driving through Bigfork and found the hat.

Elly Woll posted to Facebook saying, “Who better to have found the hat than my husband, a loyal Griz fan and alumni. As he read the note attached, we both got teary eyed.”

As we were going through Bigfork 3on3 lost and found Steve found this hat with the note inside. Wow. …Who better to…

Posted by Elly Woll on Friday, July 19, 2019


Daughter Susie Collins Hassel told MTN:

Pictured above: Clint Collins standing in front of the home he was born and raised in. (Photo credit: Susie Collins Hassel)

“My family and I are so overwhelmed by all of the heartfelt messages that have been posted about our tribute to my dad! We are so thankful that Steve and Elly found the hat and the note and then actually posted about it! My intention in writing the note was to let the person know where the hat came from and how much it meant to our family. It was our way of paying tribute to him and spreading his love of the Griz. My daughter, Tiffany, had the idea of putting the hashtag on the note so that we might at some point find out who ended up with it. To be honest, we never thought we would ever hear anything. So, the love that GRIZ nation is giving us is incredibly emotional and heartwarming. My dad was an amazing man and my and my brother’s hero. We are so honored that others now understand the love that we all had for him! To end, we now know my dad’s hat found its forever home with the right person and someone who truly understands and honors our love for him.”

-Reported by Elizabeth Transue/MTN News