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