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Avid UConn fan misplaces hat with dozens of Final Four pins collected over the years

Robert LaBonne, Sr. lost his hat Saturday night while at the UConn game in Houston, Texas and is hoping it will find its way back to him.

HOUSTON, Texas — An avid UConn fan asked for the public's help. 

Robert LaBonne Sr., 87, of Morris, lost his hat in Houston, Texas on Saturday night while attending the game. 

His hat had more than 50 Final Four and Regional pins on it, a collection he grew since the '90s. LaBonne Sr. said the hat has been his lucky charm and UConn always won whenever he wore it. 

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"20 years those pins come from … my first game in 1999," said Robert LaBonne Sr. of Morris. 

LaBonne Sr. has been a loyal UConn fan for almost 40 years and attended more than 12 Final Four games. 

Over the years, he has collected 50 pins as proof he has Husky strong. 

"I’ve changed them. They got old. I’ve made room for more on there … a lot of memories," added LaBonne Sr. 

When it was discovered his hat was gone Saturday night, a cloud of disappointment poured over the entire family. His hat contained 30 years of memories. 

"It weighs somewhere between 9 to 10 pounds with probably over 50 pins on it," said Robert LaBonne Jr. of Morris. 

His family originally thought he had left it in an Uber. 

"I’m thinking an Uber is where he left it at around midnight on Saturday because he was having a chat and that’s the last picture we have of it," added LaBonne Jr. 

Desperate calls were made to Uber, but the driver said he did not see it. The family's worries then escalated. 

"I’m hoping that someone has it and that someone isn’t trying to sell it on eBay or sell the pins on eBay," added LaBonne Jr. 

Despite wondering where the hat may be, Labonne Sr. said life will go on with or without the hat and perhaps a Good Samaritan who found it will return it. 

"I’m hoping that. If not, I have to start all over!" added Labonne Sr. 

The family is offering a 500-dollar reward to anyone who finds the hat or has information on where it may be. 


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