Report by Paula Antolini
January 8, 2016 8:51PM EDT
Photo above: Musician Ethan James performs at the HERO Project Coffee Social at Molten Java in Bethel, CT on January 8, 2017. (Click on all photos to view larger.)
‘HERO Project Coffee Social’ at Molten Java Had Hot Music and a Cool Crowd, To Raise Awareness About Addiction Epidemic and Gather Support
As the “Hero Project Coffee Social” January 8th date approached, more unexpected deaths from drug overdoses occurred close by in Connecticut, bringing home the urgency of the group’s mission, “A caring community working together to raise awareness through education and events, about the need to resist heroin and opiate abuse.”
The HERO Project Coffee Social event was held on Sunday at Molten Java, 213 Greenwood Avenue, in Bethel, CT, at 4:00 p.m.to 7:45 p.m. About 40 individuals attended, including Pete and Anita Lucsky, the grandparents of Kaitlyn Knapp, age 21, who had just passed away on December 29, 2016, from a heroin overdose in Torrington at the same time as another 29 year old woman from Massapequa, NY, and a third person was hospitalized. Over the past weekend a man from Ridgefield overdosed and died.
The family of Kaitlyn Knapp wrote a heart wrenching obituary which reads in part, “My baby is gone now. Please hold your babies tight and teach and educate them as much as possible to arm them against the heroin and opiate battlefield. Heroin knows no boundaries nor does it discriminate.” A memorial service was held and in lieu of flowers, the family has asked to please send donations to The HERO Project, c/o Peter Herger, Esq., 5 Lake Avenue, Danbury, CT 06810.
Local musicians, some of whom were recovered addicts of drugs or alcohol, sang touching songs or recited poetry to music at the HERO Project Coffee Social, performances dedicated to those who have passed.
Ethan James, one of the musicians, who had been in recovery from drug addition six years, commented, “We’ve lost a lot of people, physical bodies, no souls, all the souls are still right here. But I’d like to perform for a lot of our loved ones who have gone this year, and one of my close friends … who passed away recently.” He sang his own music relating to his own struggle with addiction.
Photo above: The Atom Family performs at the HERO Project Coffee Social at Molten Java in Bethel, CT on January 8, 2017. Donald Olson, right, accompanies on percussion. (Click on all photos to view larger.)
Other performers were The Atom Family from Danbury, consisting of Atom Rush who performed original poetry to music, Brian MacCarry on trumpet, Joe Leuckinbill (from NY city) on electric bass, Tito Pastanez on percussion. Donald E. Olson, HERO Project founder, accompanied on percussion.
Scott Daly, Scott Elliot and Kyle Ledloux sang and performed on guitar separately.
The HERO Project was formed in January 2016 when Bethel native Donald E. Olson, 43, leading the group, decided he wanted to attack this issue head-on because he and his family experienced the devastating sudden loss of a young family member in May 2015, due to addiction. Olsen formed a group in Bethel, CT called the “Hero Project” to try and stop this from ever happening to anyone else ever again. The name represents “Heroine Education to Resist Opiates.” Olson said he wanted to “save one life at a time.” Click here to learn more about The HERO Project.
Olson said, “We just want to thank everyone for coming out and showing support for an important cause. We want to thank Molten Java for hosting our event for us, we appreciate it. Follow our Facebook page if you see an event coming up and try to participate and spread the word. One life at a time.”
More HERO Project events are planned:
OVERDOSE PREVENTION Free Narcan Training
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 6PM- 7:30PM
Stony Hill Fire House, 59 Stony Hill Road, Bethel, CT
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register for this event
In March will be the second Pizza Challenge event, in May we march in the local parade, in July-August there are the Summerfest activities. Check back for exact dates and information.
Check back soon for VIDEO!!!!
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