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Sixth annual Drug Overdose and Prevention Vigil set for May 13, hosted by Carroll County state’s attorney

State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo will host Carroll County’s 6th Annual Drug Overdose and Prevention Vigil virtually. This event will be held on Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. and will air on Carroll County’s local cable television station, channel 19 and HD-1080, as well as the State’s Attorney’s Office Facebook page and website.

DeLeonardo started this event seven years ago because he saw the critical need to provide a venue for family and friends to remember loved ones lost to drug overdoses, as well as raise awareness about the challenges facing the community regarding the opioid crisis, according to a news release from the state’s attorney’s office.

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Families and friends who have suffered the loss of a loved one to overdose are encouraged to tune in to this vigil and light a candle in remembrance of their loved ones.

In years past, the Drug Overdose and Prevention Vigil has had attendance of more than 500 citizens from Carroll County and surrounding counties. Although the event will look a little different this year, DeLeonardo anticipates that the virtual presentation will provide accessibility to a large audience and encourages viewers to light a candle for those lost to addiction.

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The Office of the State’s Attorney will also present the Message of Hope award to Judy Klinger, CCPS Supervisor of School Counseling; Kate Swisher Lee, LCPC, CCYSB Program Director of Substance Abuse Services; Kelly Snyder, CCPS Pupil Personnel Worker; and Cindy Pehl, Founder of the Douglas E. Metz Foundation for their advocacy for children who have been affected by addiction-related trauma and loss through Camp Thrive.

“The pandemic we have battled over the last year has had an indelible impact on our community in many ways, including mental health and addiction,” DeLeonardo said via the release. “We often hear about statistics and the number of overdoses, but this event is meant to celebrate the lives and family members behind those statistics. This event is a stark reminder that addiction does not discriminate — anyone can be touched by this crisis.”

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