“Steps of Change” event this weekend will commemorate Mahoning County overdose victims

Staff report


On Saturday, 113 pairs of shoes will be displayed in Wick Park.

Each pair, tagged with a name, represents someone who died from a drug overdose in Mahoning County in 2017. The deceased ranged in age from a 1-year-old to a 71-year-old.

Members of the public are invited to take part in a remembrance walk Saturday during the annual “Steps of Change” event organized by the Mahoning County chapter of Ohio Change Addiction Now (OhioCAN).

The event at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, 1105 Elm St., will take place from noon to 5 p.m.

At 12:30 p.m., Mayor Jamael Tito Brown will lead “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” a lap around Wick Park to remember victims of the opioid crisis. At 1 p.m., there will be a recitation of names and prayer.

The event also will feature several speakers, including Brown, Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Anthony D’Apolito, Mahoning County Children Services Board Executive Director Randall Muth, keynote speaker Dr. Joseph Sitarik of Neil Kennedy Recovery Center, and others.

“Steps of Change,” which is a free event, also will feature a raffle, children’s activities, food, music and information tables.

Participants are invited to bring a pair of shoes or other memento representing a loved one who died of an overdose or is struggling with a substance-use disorder.

For information, contact OhioCAN Mahoning County Coordinator Hopeanne Lovrinoff-Moran at Ohiowecan50@gmail.com or call 330-507-5313.

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