STEVENSVILLE — A portion of the Cross Island Trail, which cuts through Love Point Park in Stevevnsville, was dedicated to the QAC Goes Purple movement, Thursday afternoon, Sept. 30. The first week in September was the annual kick-off recognition for QAC Goes Purple, bringing awareness to the opioid crisis not only in the state of Maryland, but across the nation.
The Cross Island Trail dedication ceremony was sponsored through the QA Parks and Recreation Department, and hosted by Parks and Rec Director Steve Chandlee. Chandlee welcomed all who attended, and introduced the guest speakers; QA Sheriff Gary Hofmann, QA Chamber of Commerce President Linda Friday, longtime (30+ years) Drug Coalition leader Warren Wright, “Not My Child” founder Anthony Reno, and QA commissionersJim Moran. Each speaker gave brief comments.
Chandlee thanked the Parks and Recreation staff, as well as F.A. Hobson and Sons Landscaping for mounting the QAC Goes Purple sign along the trail, as well as posting the new park benches. He gave special recognition to chief Resource Planner Nancy Scozzari, for organizing everything for the event, but, regretfully, was unable to attend.
Chandlee also credited the Not My Child Foundation for funding the four new park benches, which listed the names of four young people from the county who died from opioid abuse in recent years. The individuals are: Dylan McClay, Brandon Thomas Roe, Cory Allan Smith, and Codey Vincent Taylor. One name for each bench. There are other benches in other areas of the Cross Island Trail that have been dedicated previously to other victims of opioid abuse. Members of their families were present during the ceremony.
Under each name, a quote from the individual’s family, such as this one for Codey Vincent Taylor, “11-21-91 — 1-23-19, Goodbye is not forever, Goodbye is not the end. It’s simply means we will miss you until we meet again.”
Sheriff Hofmann commented, “To those of you who have lost someone, we stand and walk with you in support.” Moran complimented both Warren and Kathy Wright for their dedication of more than 30-years in fighting to prevent deaths from drug and opioid abuse in the county. He added, “Locating this site here could not be a better place — in the middle of a very popular park for children and their parents, to remind them of the dangers that can be out there, and to try to protect family members for this tragedy.”
Reno acknowledged, “The numbers of deaths have gone down. Our efforts appear to be working, and I want to thank our county commissioners for supporting us.” Linda Friday added her compliments to Nancy Scozzari, saying, “I thank her for her vision of adding this reminder along the trail to keep the awareness with the community. Opioid abuse doesn’t just go away.”
All the speakers were part of the ribbon cutting ceremony for that portion of the trail dedication, as well as county commissioners Phil Dumenil and commission President Chris Corchiarino and his two daughters.