Thursday night's vigil in Largo Central Park will remember those who have died in Pinellas County from drug and alcohol related abuse. A few families will share their personal stories of lost loved ones.
Community members are encouraged, if they are comfortable, to bring a photo of a loved one for the memorial wall during the service. The vigil begins at 7 p.m. in the big, flat grassy area of Largo Central Park.
Guest speakers include Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Largo Mayor Pat Gerard, Pinellas County School Board Chairman Robin Wikle and Sixth Circuit Judge Dee Anna Farnell. Other participants are members of religious, government, school and private groups.
The vigil brings attention to the epidemic in Pinellas County with drug, alcohol and particularily prescription drug abuse. The memorial service is for the community including: those who have lost friends and family, those battling addiction, and people who need to know they are not alone, said Laurie Serra of the Pinellas Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE).
Pinellas County agencies continue to fight prescription drug abuse. Someone dies of a drug overdose every 32 hours in Pinellas County, according to Pinellas County officials.