The second annual Festival of Hope is set for Aug. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and includes the six-year kick-off for Talbot Goes Purple.
The festival is a partnership between Talbot Goes Purple, Mid-Shore Restoring Hope in Women and Christ Church of Easton and coincides with international overdose awareness day. The evening event will include free food; live music with Alive @Five; family fun including a dunking booth, bounce house, face painting, games and prizes; activities with the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office including K-9 demonstrations; resource tables; and a memorial for those lost.
Talbot Goes Purple will officially kick-off year six at the festival at 7:45 p.m., followed with a memorial for those lost to overdoses.
“Overdose deaths have reached record levels in our country in the past few years and now, perhaps more than ever, we need to educate our young people about the realities of substance use,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We want families to come out and have fun, but most important we want them to: Get the Facts, Get Involved and Get Talking.”
Sherry Collier, founder of Mid-Shore Restoring Hope in Women, has organized overdose awareness day events in Easton since 2017. Her non-profit supports women in need of recovery services.
“Festival of Hope, as well as the past events like the FedUp Rally, have made it possible for us to bring awareness to the substance abuse issue we have in this community as well as others,” said Collier. “Our organization has been able to help place 200 women into local recovery houses, so we greatly appreciate the help from our community. Look forward to seeing everyone this year.”
Bruce Strazza, a local recovery advocate and Alive @5 worship leader at Christ Church, has served on the Mid-Shore opioid task force and has twice spoken for the Lt. Governor of Maryland. He also serves as an active member with Talbot Goes Purple and a resource for Gamble.
“Entering 2022 I was hopeful for a better year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case,” said Strazza.“With so many unreported overdoses, who can really tell if we are making progress? What I do know is that Fentanyl is wreaking havoc all over this country, and more and more secular drugs are being laced with it. This could prove to be the most important year for awareness on record. We have to inform children of the risks of even trying opioids one time.”
Drug overdoses killed more than 100,000 people last year, including more than 2,200 people in Maryland who died of opioid-related overdoses. In Talbot County, 12 people died.
Talbot Goes Purple is an awareness and educational prevention program that empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse. The initiative includes purple clubs in our through which students learn they do not need drugs or alcohol to meet life’s challenges. The purpose of the project is to promote the ‘new conversation’ – one that includes prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarettes.
For more information on festival sponsorships or resource tables, or you’d like to include someone in the memorial, email email@example.com.
The community can again display purple lights and gear starting Sept. 1 and throughout the month as a show of taking a stand against substance abuse. For purple gear, visit our online store at www.TalbotGoesPurple.org. Get your lights and turn them on starting Sept. 1 and throughout the month.
Talbot Goes Purple is in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and Mid-Shore Community Foundation. Generous support for the project this year includes: Qlarant, Preston Automotive Group, Chesapeake Parties, Eastpoint Church, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Sound Stage Presents and Spring & Associates.
Talbot Goes Purple is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – donations to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.