COHASSET — Town Manager Christopher G. Senior announces that Safe Harbor Cohasset will be hosting its annual candlelight vigil next week in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day.
Each year, International Overdose Awareness Day is held on Aug. 31. The day serves as a way to raise awareness about overdoses and reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and overdose related deaths. It is also meant to recognize the grief felt by family and friends whose loved ones have been lost to addiction or have been permanently injured as a result of an overdose.
The first annual vigil took place in 2016 as a way to raise awareness about substance use disorders in the community, in hopes of preventing the disease. This year, the vigil will be held on Monday, Aug. 31 from 6:45 to 8 p.m. at the Cohasset Common. Residents are invited to participate.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, participants will be required to wear a cloth face covering and practice social distancing.
“It is important to come together as a community and recognize the addiction crisis and its far-reaching impact. This vigil is a way to remember those who have been lost to this disease and show support for those still struggling to overcome addiction,” Town Manager Senior said. “With all of the challenges of this year, including increased social isolation due to COVID-19, it is especially important to reach out and show support to family and friends in recovery.”
In preparation for the vigil, family and friends of those who have lost loved ones to addiction are invited to send photos to Safe Harbor Program Director Nicole Balaschi at [email protected] These photos will be displayed during the vigil.
The event will also include a candle lighting ceremony. Lit candles will represent hope, grace, truth, justice, faith, peace and love.
Guest speakers at the vigil will include Reverend Karen Bailey-Francois of the Second Congregational Church, Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition Chair Annemarie Whilton and community member Christen Poole. Music will be performed by Notre Dame Academy Student Lauren Ravanesi and Cohasset High School student Mateo Reyes.