3rd Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk Draws Over 1,200 People to the Seaside Heights Boardwalk

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The annual event, hosted by HOPE Sheds Light, Inc., offers hope and support to families on the Jersey Shore that are affected by addiction.

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HOPE Sheds Light founders at the 2016 Celebration of HOPE Walk in Seaside Heights, NJ. Pictured from left: Stephen Willis, Arvo Prima and Ron Rosetto.

It is so powerful to see our community come together to provide hope and support for those suffering from this epidemic,” said Steve Willis, co-founder of HOPE Sheds Light. “Our vision is to continue to grow and provide hope to everyone who will listen.

HOPE Sheds Light, Inc., a Toms River-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating families on the disease of addiction, drew over 1,200 people to the Seaside Heights Boardwalk for its 3rd Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk on September 10th. The awareness event occurred just days before President Barack Obama proclaimed September 18th-24th, 2016 as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

“We would like to express our gratitude for everyone’s participation at our 3rd Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk,” said Arvo Prima, Co-founder of HOPE Sheds Light. “It was a beautiful day and we had over 1,200 attendees, media coverage and community support. We would also like to congratulate Team McCurley-Stokes for raising the most towards our mission of spreading hope for recovery.”

Founded in 2012 after co-founder Ron Rosetto lost his son Marc to a battle against substance abuse, HOPE Sheds Light serves to provide help and resources to families affected by addiction. Rosetto, along with co-founders Arvo Prima and Stephen Willis, and a team of board members and volunteers, work year-round to support families suffering from the epidemic of substance abuse that has become widely prevalent at the Jersey Shore in recent years.

“Since the families and friends of those with addiction problems often feel isolated, ashamed, overwhelmed and hopeless, HOPE Sheds Light was created to provide direction, resources and hope toward recovery,” said Ron Rosetto, co-founder of HOPE Sheds Light. “We are passionate about helping anyone in need, and we have created this organization to provide those individuals with the resources they need to find hope for a future free from drug addiction.”

The Celebration of HOPE Walk was held on the Hiering Avenue beach in Seaside Heights. All participants received a yellow HOPE Sheds Light walk t-shirt at the event, and resources were available for family members and friends of those dealing with addiction and substance abuse. The event also highlighted inspirational speakers (video footage of the speaker series is available on HOPE Sheds Light’s Facebook page), a Tree of HOPE to remember those who were lost, onsite vendors, a raffle and more.

Since its inception, through community education and outreach, over 34,000 people were guided to HOPEShedsLight.com, and over 1,590 people received educational support and awareness programs. The two-mile walk has also grown each year in size and awareness. “It is just so powerful to see our community come together to provide hope and support for those suffering from this epidemic,” said Stephen Willis, co-founder of HOPE Sheds Light. “Our vision is to continue to grow and provide hope to everyone who will listen.”

To watch video highlights from the walk, click here. To learn more about HOPE Sheds Light, visit HOPEShedsLight.org.

About HOPE Sheds Light, Inc.
HOPE Sheds Light, Inc. is a IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID: 46-3910504) that is supported by friends and families directly affected by addiction, and found recovery through continuous love, support and understanding. The mission of HOPE Sheds Light is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the disease of addiction and to provide hope and resources towards recovery. To learn more about HOPE Sheds Light, please visit HOPEShedsLight.org.

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Laura Anne Crossan
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