Project Echo holds walk to remember those lost to addiction
On May 6, Farming 4 Hunger worked in partnership with Project Echo, a homeless shelter in Prince Frederick, to host its annual Tri-County Memorial Walk for friends and families mourning those lost to addiction.
Teresa Beavers, development director at Project Echo, said the walk originated as an idea by house manager Lori Hony and board of directors president Henry Trentman, which soon evolved into an event aimed to raise awareness toward a much bigger problem.
“I think when people come in and see how many others are here, they realize they’re not alone,” Beavers said. “This is our community, it’s happening everywhere and it’s okay to talk about it.”
The walk began at 9 a.m. at Serenity Farm in Benedict, where more than 200 families and friends met with others who’ve experienced similar losses and discovered resources available for families coping with addiction.
“A lot of this has to do with who they were; they were children from musicians, they were writers or soldiers, but they weren’t their addiction, they were so much more than that,” said Corri Roberts, founder of Southern Maryland Overdose Death Support.
Organizations present at this year’s event included Maryland Coalition for Families and Parents Affected By Addiction, which provides support for families while breaking stigmas surrounding parents of children struggling with addiction.
However, for many loved ones, finding available resources can be challenging.
“We’ve got to get this down and under control. This is a great beginning, but the treatment has to be available,” said Susan Soloducha, a Calvert County resident who shared the story of her son, Nicholas Soloducha, who died from a drug overdose almost two years ago.
“We’ve got to get it out there so that people know where to go and what’s available through the county,” she said.
For families like Soloducha’s, the walk held an overwhelming message of hope.
“Everything comes one day at a time. Just like any other treatment, just know that brighter days lie ahead, and as long as we keep moving forward, then that’s a good thing,” Soloducha said.
Volunteers handed out sunflower seeds as a part of the seed planting ceremony which commemorates the lives of loved ones lost to addiction.
Calvert County resident Susan Soloducha consols Frankie Sauder after coming across her son Nicholas Soloducha’s memorial during the third annual Tri-County Memorial Walk at Serenity Farm in Benedict.
Corri Roberts explains the purpose of her organization, Southern Maryland Overdose Death Support — a group she founded after the death of her son, Gregory, which helps provide a safe place for parents coping
Family members and friends of those who have been lost to addiction stop to pay respects during the halfmile memorial walk at Serenity Farm in Benedict on May 6.