Stand­ing up to ad­dic­tion

Res­i­dents par­tic­i­pate in Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ian Den­nis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

Boy­er­town res­i­dents have got a lot to say when it comes to help­ing their com­mu­nity through the opi­oid cri­sis.

Their voices were heard loud and clear on a re­cent Sat­ur­day dur­ing the Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk, which brought to­gether com­mu­nity mem­bers and area or­ga­ni­za­tions to help com­bat ad­dic­tion and cre­ate aware­ness.

The event was held by non­profit group, Bren­dan’s Band, which works to ed­u­cate peo­ple about drug ad­dic­tion and how they can get the sup­port they need.

The group was cre­ated by Pat Erb, 61, of Dou­glass Town­ship, af­ter her grand­son, Bren­dan Tray­lor, passed away at the age of 18 from a drug ad­dic­tion.

“Bren­dan passed away April 2014 and be­cause of that, in Au­gust, is when we got the idea to do this. We were never ashamed of him. We were al­ways proud of him. He got help and he came home and two weeks later he passed. We were al­ways proud of him and we don’t want any­one else feel ashamed that they’re an ad­dict,” ex­plained Kristie Spring­man, Bren­dan’s mother.

On Sat­ur­day sev­eral area or­ga­ni­za­tions joined guests at St. John Lutheran Church in Boy­er­town to of­fer in­for­ma­tion and help to those in the com­mu­nity in need. Groups in­cluded the Sal­va­tion Army, Safe Place of Boy­er­town, The Holis­tic Cen­ter, the Penn Foun­da­tion and many oth­ers.

“The stigma is the main thing we’re try­ing to get rid of here,” said Erb. “So peo­ple aren’t ashamed to come up and say ‘hey, I have a prob­lem’ or ‘I’m in re­cov­ery’ or ‘I lost some­body to ad­dic­tion.’ We’ve got to get rid of that ... To solve these prob­lems it’s go­ing to have to be a com­mu­nity based thing. And that’s our goal.”

Be­fore the walk be­gan, those in at­ten­dance lis­tened to speak­ers in­clud­ing State Sen. Bob Men­sch, State Reps. Marcy Toe­pel and David Maloney, Berks County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Justin Bodor, as well as sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als who chose to share their sto­ries about los­ing loved ones to ad­dic­tion.

“The most im­por­tant thing is a com­mu­nity. That’s why it’s so im-

por­tant to have events like this, to have peo­ple that are will­ing to lend a hand, col­lab­o­rate and to help peo­ple fight this cri­sis,” said Bodor.

Fol­low­ing re­marks, at­ten­dees made their way to the front of the church where they be­gan their walk down North Read­ing Av­enue and onto East Philadel­phia Av­enue.

“We want to cel­e­brate peo­ple in re­cov­ery, honor the peo­ple we have lost to ad­dic­tion and sup­port those still strug­gling,” said Spring­man.

To learn more about Bren­dan’s Band visit bren­dans­band.com

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Par­tic­i­pants in the Drug Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk made their way down Read­ing Av­enue Sat­ur­day to take a stand against drug ad­dic­tion.

MAR­IAN DEN­NIS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Par­tic­i­pants in Sat­ur­day’s Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk held signs ad­vo­cat­ing re­cov­ery cen­ters while they walked down Read­ing Av­enue in Boy­er­town.

Dozens of area or­ga­ni­za­tions turned out at the Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk in Boy­er­town Sat­ur­day. Ta­bles were set up of­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion for com­mu­nity mem­bers on ways to help those in re­cov­ery or still strug­gling with ad­dic­tion.

Guests at Sat­ur­day’s Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk in Boy­er­town joined hands and formed a cir­cle as they re­cited the “Seren­ity Prayer.”

Pat Erb speaks to guests at Sat­ur­day’s Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk in Boy­er­town about her grand­son who passed away from a drug ad­dic­tion.

State. Rep. Marcy Toe­pel was one of sev­eral state of­fi­cials who showed up in Boy­er­town Sat­ur­day to sup­port the Ad­dic­tion Aware­ness and Re­cov­ery Walk.

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