Tag Archives: Voices of Hope 2018

5th Annual Overdose Vigil and Awareness Day

Voices of Hope joined forces with Youth Empowerment Source (YES), Maryland Coalition of Families and local churches to host a day of activities for International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2018.  A Prayer Breakfast was held at Wesley United Methodist Church to start the day.  Members of the church and the Paris Foundation served a breakfast donated by Chik Fil A.  After breakfast, members of the community offered prayers out loud for the families and loved ones of those lost and for those who still suffer.

After breakfast, a Memorial Wall was constructed outside the old County Courthouse.  Names that had been emailed to YES were placed on the wall.  Others were added by friends and family as the event was carried out.  There were crafts for children, drinks and snacks while people shared about the lives of those lost.  Marc Butler, from Ashley Addiction Treatment, brought donuts to share with the group.  Dr. Alan McCarthy, the County Executive, and Judge Will Davis, stopped in to pay their respects.  Family members and friends braved the rain to express their grief for those whose lives were cut short by overdose.

In the evening, a candlelight vigil was held at the North East Community Park.  Attendees were invited to design a luminary for their loved one and to speak about their life and loss.  Josh, from an Elkton area recovery house, donated his talent and played music throughout the event.  Jim Kamahachi from St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church, gave the closing prayer as storms were approaching.  A huge fire on Route 40 kept many from getting to the event on time or at all.  Nonetheless, respectful space and condolences were expressed for those lost.

Thank you to the many Voices of Hope volunteers that made this day possible.  Their service to those who grieve and for those who have passed made this event possible.  Thank you to YES who gave extra attention to this issue that impacts too many of the youth they serve.  We are also grateful for the Christians from many organizations who participated, even when this has not effected them personally.  Thank you for your compassion and active involvement.  You make the new culture of Cecil County.

Voices of Hope Gratitude Banquet 2018

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, Voices of Hope hosted a banquet to express our gratitude for all of the Cecil County First Responders who administered Narcan and first aid to individuals experiencing an overdose in 2017.  This event was sold out beyond capacity.  In attendance were first responders, public safety officers, politicians and town officials, small business owners, treatment providers, people in recovery, family members and recovery supporters.

A recorded 587 people experienced an overdose in 2017 in Cecil County.  71 were fatal.  We credit our first responders and the increased availability and use of Narcan for those lives saved.  We chose to acknowledge and honor Officers First Class Jeremy Fuller and Thomas Saulsbury from the Elkton Police Department for saving Erin Woodie, a young mother from Cecil County.  Erin read the police report that was filed that day at the banquet.  She talked about her family and their gratitude for the Officers’ actions and humane treatment that day.  She credits them for saving her life, as she now is experiencing long term recovery.

photos by Jane Bellmyer, Cecil Whig

Also honored was Shelley Smith, a volunteer of Voices of Hope, Inc. for her grateful service and willingness to help achieve our mission.  We presented her with the Distinguished Volunteer Award.

Although music and dancing was available, most people opted for the free Narcan training at the end of the night, hosted by Mike Massuli and Katie Carroll from the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center.  24 people received the training and took home the life saving medication.

Please check out all the photos from the night on our Facebook page or #VOHBanquet2018

We are so grateful for the sponsors and supporters that made this night such a success, thank you!

Union Hospital of Cecil County

Ashley Addiction Treatment

Project Chesapeake

Cecil College

Recovery Centers of America

A and M Tent Tents

A & M Elegant Affairs

David Heitur Fotograph

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)

Chesapeake Bay Coffee Co.

DJ Jim Thornton

Your Personal Chef Catering

Delegate Kevin Hornberger

American Home & Hardware

Kristin Lewis

Elkton Carpet & Tile

Back Creek Golf Club

Timeless Body Arts

Youth Empowerment Source

Rebs Used Cars

Addiction Connections Resource (ACR)

Al Miller

Bill Coutz

I do! Weddings

Nancy Simpers

Tower Business Systems

Charlotte Howard

Rippin’ Hot Sauce Company

Oxford House of Delaware

Beacon Health Options