A rainy, cloudy day didn’t deter community members from gathering to support and participate in the Overdose Awareness Day event held at the Memorial Peace Park.
The event, organized by STORM, i.e. Stop Overdose Ridge Meadows on Aug. 27, was to mark the International Overdose Awareness Day, which is globally observed on Aug. 31.
The free event saw a good turnout of people according to Kim Dumore, the project coordinator.
“It is great to have so many community members come together and walk alongside each other in creating awareness for this crisis,” said Dumore.
Coast Mental Health, Ridge Meadows Ministries Salvation Army, Moms Stop the Harm, One Way Club Society, city of Maple Ridge, Alouette Addictions Services, Mobile Response Team, Lifeguard Digital Health, Food for the Soul Project Society, Maple Ridge Street Outreach Society, Community Services, were some of the organizations and groups who had information booths set up at the event.
Several community members came up and shared their personal struggles and battles during the open mic for the event, and Low Barrier Chorus gave a performance.
The event saw several prominent members of the community in attendance. One such attendee was Bob D’eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.
“I do think it is important to recognize everything the organization has done and everyone else as well who is at this event. Getting everyone together is so important,” he said, emphasizing how crucial the overdose crisis is.
“It is a complex tough issue,” he said, “Getting safe supplies is important, lobbying for decriminalization is important and providing services and help to these organizations to do the work they do is so important.”
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