ATLANTIC CITY—More than 400 people are expected to travel to Atlantic City from several states for a memorial walk honoring those who have lost their lives from heroin and opiate overdoses.
Stop the Heroin, an organization based in Egg Harbor Township, is holding the fundraiser walk 9 a.m. on Saturday at Kennedy Plaza to raise money that will help pay sober living home costs for people who have recently completed addiction rehabilitation.
Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian will be speaking at the event to discuss the importance of sober living after rehab.
Bill and Tammy Schmincke founded the organization in April, one month after they found their 26-year-old son Steven sitting upright in a bed where he died of a heroin overdose.
The couple got involved with addiction rehabilitation efforts “in the hopes of preventing other families from experiencing their heartbreak,” they said. Stop the Heroin has so far raised more than $20,000 and helped 25 people enter sober living facilities.
“We’ve got to try and save others,” Bill said in a statement. “The Pain left behind is tremendous.”
Organizers are asking attendees to bring a pair of shoes that represent the life of their loved one lost to an addiction. The display of shoes will show the reach heroin and opiate has within the community, according to organizers.
Participants will walk from Kennedy Plaza to Central Pier and back.
Tracy Smith, of Speakers for Change, Jennifer Hansen, of The Hansen Foundation, and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo will also be speaking at the event. Mazzeo will also talk about his proposed state bill that would place the opiate antidote Narcan in New Jersey public schools.
“I'm proud to support the Stop the Heroin Memorial Walk in Atlantic City and all the great work being done by the Schmincke family,” he said. “When we come together as a community we have our best chance to combat this epidemic head on.”
For more information and a full schedule of the Stop the Heroin Memorial Walk, visit stoptheheroinmemorialwalk.com.