In Remembrance: GOW Opioid Task Force donates painting to recovery center
Gone, never forgotten and now providing inspiration for those reaching out to help others whose lives have been adversely affected by the opioid crisis.
That was the message conveyed by Nicole Anderson, Statewide Targeted Response case manager at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, as she provided information about a “remembrance painting” at the recent GOW Opioid Task Force meeting in Batavia.
“As part of Overdose Awareness Day last summer at Austin Park, we asked people to participate in remembering those we have lost to overdose deaths,” she said. “This beautiful painting – created and donated by one of our members -- was displayed at the event for loved ones to put a heart with the name of those they have lost.”
Anderson, who lost her stepfather to a heroin overdose 17 years ago, went on to say that the task force put the painting on display in agencies across Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, and now has extended the opportunity for community members to add their loved ones’ names to the painting.
“It is our hope that the task force will continue to support those who have lost loved ones and honor the memories of those who have passed and, this year, with the support of the GOW Opioid Task Force Steering Committee, we would like to donate this painting to the GCASA Recovery Center,” she said.
The Recovery Center, located at the former Bohn’s Restaurant on Clinton Street Road, is scheduled to open by the end of February.
Anderson also serves as the secretary of the task force’s Families, Loved Ones and Allies Work Group, which is committed to providing support and resources for those distressed by the opioid epidemic.
She said another Overdose Awareness Day is planned for this August. The 2019 inaugural event drew more than 100 people and more than a dozen representatives from substance abuse prevention agencies in the tri-county area.
Photo: Members of the GOW Opioid Task Force display a “remembrance painting” dedicated to those who have died as a result of the opioid crisis. From left are Nick Volpe, Marlowe Thompson, Brandon Fogg, Scott Davis, Chris Budzinack, Debbie Dutton, Ricco Oquendo, Sue Gagne, Nicole Anderson and Christen Ferraro.
Disclosure: Story and photo by Mike Pettinella, GCASA publicist.