Project Remember Me preparing luminaries


Joseph Pratt - For the Daily Times



Ascend Counseling and Recovery Services is readying for its Third Annual Project Remember Me, which will light up Tracy Park Wednesday, August 31.

Project Remember Me is a night of luminaries and remembrance in the park with dozens of luminaries lit to recognize loved ones lost, due to addiction. The event is in collaboration with the Recovery Coalition.

The luminaries will be bagged candles symbolizing the loss of someone who recently lost their battle with addiction. The luminaries will also be labeled with the recovery ribbon, with a butterfly on it.

The act of lighting luminaires is one that has been practiced since the 16th century, when the Spanish used them to light the way to midnight mass. They’ve since been adopted worldwide, lighting services, celebrating holidays, and recognizing lost loved ones.

“The luminaries will vary on how many people submit names prior to the event,” explained Chrissy Boyd, who has been a counselor with Ascend for five years. “We will also have bags onsite for people to make their own.”

Boyd said the group had about 100 luminaries lit last year.

Project Remember Me is a quiet memorial and they ask community members present to be silent after the hour of 8 p.m. Ascend will also have staff onsite ready to schedule anyone for services, should they express the need to seek treatment.

“There are a lot of people who struggle and don’t come forward,” Boyd said, when expressing the desire to provide resources at the event.

The purpose of the project is to foster the remembrance of lost loved ones, assist in the grieving process, and to encourage the community to reflect on the nature of a crisis in our own neighborhoods.

“We have held it as a quiet memorial to help with the grieving process, bring to light the issue, and spread awareness,” Boyd said. “This year’s event will be a collaboration with the Recovery Coalition and we will have booths and information available at the start of the event. We will still have the final hour standing as a quiet memorial.”

The public is also able to have a luminary setup in the name of a loved one by contacting one of two people, Chrissy Boyd or Kaitlin Mingus, at 740.876.8290.

“We hope to break away at the stigma and bring awareness to the community. The stigma is there, but recovery is important in seeing the other side of things.” Boyd said. “It is nice seeing the community come together, while also sad being in the grieving process and seeing the many bags and names can be overwhelming.

For more information about the organizing facility, Ascend Counseling and Recovery Services, visit them at 729 6th Street or call 740.876.8290.

“We wish to add value, visibility, and dignity to those who may be marginalized or diminished: unintentional overdose death,” the program announced through a release.

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Joseph Pratt

For the Daily Times