Gloucester County to host 3rd Annual Candlelight Vigil on August 29

Press release from Gloucester County Board of Freeholders

The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Gloucester County Addictions Task Force will hold its 3rd Annual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, Aug. 29, in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day. This event aims to raise awareness of overdose, and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. The day also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends and remembers those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said, “Since January 1, 2018, there have been over 60 fatal opioid overdoses in Gloucester County. In 2017, the total number of fatal overdoses was 125. We don’t want anyone else to die from substance abuse disorders.”

Freeholder Jim Jefferson said that the individuals who are touched by substance abuse come from all walks of life.

Jefferson, who serves as Liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and is the Chair of the Addictions Task Force said, “Addiction touches almost every family in some way, shape or form and by lifting the stigma of shame we hope to touch people and help them.”

“We can to come together as a community so that those struggling and those who have lost family and friends realize they are never alone.” Jefferson said.

The Gloucester County Addiction Task Force is comprised of community members that have been adversely impacted by addictions, or are working professionals in the field.

The vigil will be begin at dusk and will be held rain or shine at James Atkinson Park; 138 Bethel Mill Rd. Sewell, NJ 08080. Seating is limited. Bringing your own chair or blanket is recommended. There will be resource tables that will open at 5 p.m.

If you have a family member or friend that you would like to commemorate in this ceremony, please send their name and photograph to Robert Bamford, rbamford@co.gloucester.nj.us. For more information call (856) 384–6929.