Candlelight vigil in Kelowna for overdose victims

International Drug Overdose Awareness Day considered a response to an epidemic

Mom’s Stop the Harm is holding candlelight vigil in Kelowna at the end of the month to honour those who have died and raise awareness about the ongoing overdose crisis.

“My heart aches and my brain stumbles as I try to make sense of what happened to this loving, intelligent 27-year-old who had so much to offer life,” said a Kelowna woman named Jill, who lost her youngest son Nick to a drug overdose March 27.

International Overdose Awareness Day, she said in a press release, offers a chance to feel the raw sense of what’s going on as she surrounds herself with other hurting parents, sisters, brothers and lovers. She acknowledges that it is easy to mask, to become numb, and to deny the magnitude of what is happening, but cautioned others in her position to do otherwise.

“We must be the Suffragettes of this pandemic, try to stem the tragic losses that are growing daily,” she said. “These young folk are our neighbors, teachers, soldiers, tradesmen, and a hundred other roles that society must stop stigmatizing. They are not defined by the demon drug that they succumbed to.”

Mom’s Stop the Harm is holding the International Overdose Awareness Day event in honor of those lost and in order to raise awareness about death by overdose and the impact it is having on our communities.

“The purpose is to educate and bring awareness to the issue of overdose while encouraging people to shamelessly honor the loved ones they have lost to a drug misuse disorder,” reads their press release.

“The hope is to illustrate that this crisis does not discriminate. It has taken countless lives regardless of age, race, gender or socioeconomic status. This inaugural event welcomes all members of our community and hopes to bring survivors and bereaved community members out of isolation, to grieve and battle this crisis together.”

Date: Thursday Aug. 31 2017

Schedule of Events

Evangel Church – 3261 Gordon Dr 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Education and Awareness – Speakers and Community Service Provider information

Candle Light Vigil – The Sails Downtown Kelowna 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Remembrance and Honoring – Music, Candlelight Vigil & Open Mic