MOUNT PLEASANT, SC, August 17, 2023 — The Lowcountry will come together on August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, to commemorate and honor those who have tragically lost their lives to overdose. The event, "Light the Way for Hope," will be held at the Mount Pleasant Town Hall, located at 100 Ann Edwards Lane, and will serve as a beacon of remembrance, support, and unity.
The Charleston area has sadly experienced a significant increase in overdose incidents in recent years. According to local statistics, since 2021 to date, Charleston County has witnessed a reported 3,639 non-fatal overdoses, 175 suspected fatal overdoses and 557 confirmed fatal overdoses. These numbers serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need for ongoing education, support, and resources to combat substance use within our community.
The evening will commence with a 30-minute Narcan training and overdose prevention course, beginning promptly at 7:00 PM, followed by a gathering of the community to remember those who have fallen victim to overdose.
Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a deeply meaningful ceremony, where luminary bags adorned with the names of their loved ones will illuminate the event. These luminous displays will serve as a symbol of the eternal flame of love and remembrance for those who hold a special place in our hearts.
In addition to the luminary ceremony, a heartfelt slideshow will be presented, honoring the memories of our cherished loved ones who will forever remain in our hearts. This touching tribute will remind us of the lives that were cut short and the profound impact they had.
The event will feature esteemed speakers who have dedicated themselves to combating substance use and promoting awareness within our community. Confirmed speakers include
Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and Councilman Carl Ritchie, and Mount Pleasant Police Captain Christopher Rosier and Sergeant of the Mental Health Unit Steven Kudron. We are also honored to welcome Nanci Steadman Shipman, founder and executive director of WakeUp Carolina, as well as Dr. Chanda Funcell, Director of the Charleston Center.
We kindly request that members of the media exercise sensitivity and respect when covering "Light the Way for Hope." This gathering is intended to provide a safe and emotionally nurturing space for a memorial that deeply affects many lives. Our aim is to foster an environment where attendees can find hope, support, and a sense of unity as we stand together in remembrance.
The "Light the Way for Hope" remembrance event will take place at 7:00 PM on August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, at the Mount Pleasant Town Hall. We encourage all members of the community, families, friends, and individuals affected by substance use to join us as we come together to remember, honor, and support one another.