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HOPE Initiative schedules candlelight vigil

by on August 17, 2017 8:46 AM

BELLEFONTE — The Centre County HOPE (Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education) Initiative is sponsoring a candlelight remembrance vigil from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2,  at Talleyrand Park, 320 W. High St. in Bellefonte.

The event will honor those who fought against the disease of addiction and remember those who died. Area residents who have lost loved ones to addiction will have the opportunity to share their stories, and attendees are encouraged to bring photos be placed on a remembrance board.

Thursday, Aug. 31, is International Overdose Awareness Day and September is National Recovery Month. The HOPE Initiative wanted to provide a platform for community members to come together to support one another and to raise awareness of the issue. In 2016, Centre County lost 21 people to fatal overdoses, and Pennsylvania as a whole lost 4,642 people to the opioid epidemic.

“My only child is among the 21 people lost in 2016," said Veronica Gower, a member of the HOPE Initiative. "He is much more than a number. I want people to know who he was.”

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