HHS Today

Filed under News

NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s dark outside as hundreds of people circle the flagpole on Hillsborough’s front lawn, unlit candles in hand. Uniformed police officers make their way around the circle, lighting candles as somber music plays over large speakers.

Hillsborough hosted the Hillsborough chapter of the Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) Task Force’s annual Candle Light Vigil on Oct. 30, memorializing those who have died due to drug overdoses.

Hillsborough was chosen as the venue after NOPE task force member and alumna Cathy Valdes contacted Principal Gary Brady. “[We started this event] to remember those who have passed away from overdose and to give hope to those still struggling with addiction,” Valdes said.

The auditorium lobby was filled with pictures of people who passed, accompanied by notes from loved ones on displays. After viewing the memorial walls, attendants listened to speakers like former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor.

“The organization is really trying to get information out there and influence kids to stay away from alcohol and drug use,” Castor said. “I applaud the efforts of NOPE, especially in this day and age with the return of heroin. Hopefully, we will be able as a community to make a difference.”

Lynne Knowles, president of the NOPE Hillsborough chapter, gave a speech while pictures her daughter were displayed behind her; Knowles’ daughter Jamie Godette-Church died of a heroin overdose four years ago, at age 23.

“If you’re here tonight and you’ve lost someone, my heart is with you,” Knowles said in her speech. “There is hope and there is help for all of us who are suffering. Lift your voices up. Let it be a voice of change.”

Recovering addict Tom Wentz addressed the crowd, telling them about his struggles with drug addiction. “I could’ve easily been one of the statistics. I’ve seen a lot of tragedy over the years,” Wentz said. “I’ve seen people die with my own two eyes.”

Later in the year, NOPE will return to Hillsborough to give an anti-drug abuse presentation for students. “We’re just losing too many of our young people to these situations,” AP Mick Boddie said.

The vigil ended with the sound of chimes being played over the speakers. The lawn emptied slowly, the crowd fading out with the audio.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction”

  1. Beth Butler on November 1st, 2015 2:22 pm

    What a well written article! You all did a wonderful job covering such a touching and emotional event. You should be proud, and we thank you for sharing this with others in your life.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Longest government shutdown affects all

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Rick Scott leads as Senator in a tight race

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Andrew Gillum concedes to Republican Ron DeSantis in Florida gubernatorial race

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Tardies increase this year

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    A recap of the key elections happening in Florida now

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Counting Hillsborough High School’s votes

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    PSAT: Tips and Information

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    USF is a Preeminent University; what does that mean for seniors now?

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    District testing water for lead

  • NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction

    News

    Lee Elementary’s plan for the future

Navigate Right
News from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.
NOPE candle light vigil at Hillsborough remembers those lost to addiction