COHASSET — Town Manager Christopher G. Senior and Safe Harbor Cohasset Program Director Nicole Balaschi are pleased to announce that Safe Harbor Cohasset hosted its annual candlelight vigil at the Cohasset Common earlier this week.
International Overdose Awareness Day is held each year 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.
As part of this year’s event, family and friends who have lost loved ones to addiction were invited to send photos to Safe Harbor to be displayed during the vigil. More than a dozen photos were on display.
The event also included a candle lighting ceremony. Lit candles represented hope, grace, truth, justice, faith, peace and love.
“It is especially important now to be vigilant to the struggles of those around us, whether it be mental, physical or emotional,” Program Director Balaschi said. “Everyone is struggling in their own way, and though we may be physically distant from each other, this is a reminder that we are not struggling alone, and to check in on friends and family. We are always working to build a stronger community, but we are working harder in times of COVID-19.”
Guest speakers at the vigil included Rev. Karen Bailey-Francois of the Second Congregational Church, Safe Harbor Cohasset Coalition Chair Annemarie Whilton and community member Christen Poole. Music was performed by Notre Dame Academy Student Lauren Ravanesi and Cohasset High School student Mateo Reyes.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants at this year’s vigil were required to wear a cloth face covering and practice social distancing.
“There is a lot happening in the world right now, both here at home and beyond, but it is important to take time and recognize the addiction crisis and all those who have been affected by it,” Town Manager Senior said. “The Town of Cohasset has always come together to support its residents, and this vigil is a way to not only remember those we have lost, but also to support their families in their grief.”
About Safe Harbor Cohasset:
Safe Harbor Cohasset is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since July 2014, Safe Harbor Cohasset has been working to promote awareness and implement resources to help make an impact on substance abuse in the community.