Local nonprofit organization ATS The Bridge is finalizing plans for “Light the Night,” an event to raise awareness of struggles such as opioid addiction. The event is scheduled for Saturday, …
Local nonprofit organization ATS The Bridge is finalizing plans for “Light the Night,” an event to raise awareness of struggles such as opioid addiction.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Greenway Park, and will feature a variety of speakers and activities.
“We really want to bring light to the opioid epidemic and other important issues, so the public is more aware of them,” said Reba Terry, executive director of ATS The Bridge. “Hopefully, when the event is done, they will be inspired to be a light for others.”
Speakers at the event are expected to include Cleveland Mayor-elect Kevin Brooks, Bradley County Sheriff Steve Lawson, Cleveland Police Chief Mark Gibson, 10th Judicial District Attorney Stephen Crump and more.
The event will also include music, drama and poetry, along with a variety of booths providing information. There will also be several activities specially planned for children.
The event was inspired by Rachel Goins, a local mother who lost her son, Mason Crisp, to an overdose at the age of 24. She said it is difficult to tell her story of shock and grief, but she believes it is truly important do so.
“If it will save one person, I’m willing to go all the way,” said Goins. “If you can be the light for someone else, you need to do it.”
Goins said she wonders how her son’s life could have changed had he found a friend who could “be a light” for him and encourage him to seek addiction recovery. Though the past cannot be changed, her focus is now on making sure no one else suffers the same way.
As planning for “Light the Night” progressed, organizers also decided to focus on other issues which have, for some, been related to drug use. These include depression, abuse, eating disorders and more.
Terry said better public awareness of these issues can better ensure those who need help get the help they need, and this can save lives.
For more information on ATS The Bridge and its resources, visit www.atsthebridge.org.
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