Black Balloon Day
March 6, 2019 – Buckhannon City Hall
Mayor McCauley: Welcome everyone to our City of Buckhannon’s second, annual participation in “Black Balloon Day.” Today, we remember all of the members of our community who we have lost to drug
Black Balloon Day has become a national and international event, bringing awareness to overdose deaths. As with many things with the opioid epidemic, Black Balloon Day began with a family’s’ loss. Diane and Lauren Hurley began Black Balloon Day in remembrance of Greg Tremblay. Tremblay, a father of four, is the son-in-law of Diane and brother-in-law of Lauren and died of an overdose when he was 38 years old on March 6, 2015. This is the fifth, annual Black Balloon Day.
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 70,200 lethal drug overdoses in 2017 alone. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 47,700+ overdose deaths related to prescription opioids and illicit opioids (heroin and illicit fentanyl) during 2017.
I encourage all citizens to check out the website: https://www.overdose-lifeline.org/black-balloon-day.html. We truly are all in THIS… together. I’d ask that Matt Kerner, executive director of Opportunity House offer his comments. Sue McKisic, director of our County Health Department & who also serves as our municipal health officer, is ill today, and sends her regrets while remaining supportive of all of our community’s many efforts in our continuing battle.
From Matt Kerner & Opportunity House:
Once again we are grateful for the excellent leadership of Buckhannon Mayor David W. McCauley. We are fortunate to have the wonderful relationship that we have with our community, that isn’t always the case with facilities like ours, in fact, some communities go to great lengths to make recovery programs unwelcome. It’s phenomenal to live and work in a community that mourns our losses and celebrates our successes with us. I often say that recovery happens more often in the community than in isolation. That applies as much to our larger external community as it does to our recovery community. Today as we remember the friends we have lost to overdose we also celebrate the knowledge that addiction doesn’t have to end in Jails, Institutions, or Death, Recovery is possible.
Mayor McCauley: Thanks for attending our City’s second participation in Black Balloon Day. Please learn more about the struggle of so many by visiting the website. Our City will soon partner with Opportunity House to sponsor the third annual HAHA, Hope And Help Assembly.