This Sunday night for an hour people will gather on Revere Beach and remember those lost to the substance use disorder epidemic.
The gathering began 12 years ago when a group from the Revere residents set it into motion. People who had lost someone to opioids and other substances were looking for a way to express their remembrances, grief and the stories of those who were lost.
The event is funded by donations including MGH Revere Cares and will take place this Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Reinstein Bandstand on Revere Beach.
According to Viviana Catano, of Revere Cares, they had enough money left-over to fund a $500 scholarship for a Revere High School student. Students have to write an essay about the impact of the opioid crisis on their lives. One student selected sent a thank you note saying how the scholarship helped her.
“The essays will make your heart break,” Catano said. “We have 10-20 applications every year. Students mostly write about parents or a close family member. These youth have built a resilience.”
One student wrote about his father’s drinking and the fact that the father could never tell if you met him on the street. While the father is considered the “cool” parent, the student said he has been his biggest disappointment.
Another wrote about how he had two brothers he adored but saw them slide into an addiction of prescription pain pills. After stealing from their parents the two brothers did decide to go to rehab. Joining the football team and rising in the ranks helped him deal with his feelings about his brothers.
“Without football I truly don’t know who I’d be to this day,” he wrote.
A couple of students even wrote about the use of marijuana and how their family members became addicted to it. Another wrote about her father was a compulsive gambler.