Lights of Hope to shine awareness on ongoing opioid crisis

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The 5th annual Lights of Hope event looks to honour those lost to overdose, those still fighting addiction and celebrating those in recovery.

It's taking place Saturday night at 6 p.m. in Senator Croll Park, with a line up of speakers who will be sharing their stories of loss, hope and recovery.

Elizabeth Geddes, board president of Hand in Hand Support, says turnout at the event has gone up as the opioid crisis has gotten worse.

"Obviously at the beginning we didn't have a lot of turnout but as the focus has been direct on the opioid crisis that we are currently seeing in our communities. We did have quite a large crowd last year and we're expecting a large crowd this year as well."

She says the main message is around raising the awareness of the impact the opioid crisis is having locally, and what it's doing to families.

"The opioid crisis is obviously a main concern that we are seeing. And of course we want to honour those who we've lost to overdose as well as letting those know who are still battling this disease that there is hope."

Geddes says it can be an emotional event, as the loss people feel is hard to put into words, but they feel it's important to listen to try and help those still battling.

"We have speakers who will be telling their stories. We have family members of their loved ones who have gone through addiction. We have stories of individuals who have gone through recovery, you know, those stories are so special because they are expressing that there's hope out there and not to give up."

The event will close with a candle lighting ceremony which will honour loved ones who have lost their lives to overdose and those who are still fighting the battle.