By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer
(May 25, 2018) To help combat the opioid epidemic, a Maryland in Motion Community Outreach Festival will take place on Saturday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Byrd Park in Snow Hill.
“We are using these events as a call to action,” said Shawn Johnson, president of the Youth Care Center in Snow Hill, which provides youth programs on the Eastern Shore. “The day of the event we will have sign-up sheets for substance abuse counseling, medication management assistance or mental health services. There will be a series of outreach campaigns. This is just the first one.”
Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman will welcome attendees, Pastor Joe L. Poe from Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is slated to lead the prayer and Snow Hill High School’s Junior ROTC will also participate.
About 20 local nonprofits and community organizations including the Jesse Klump Foundation, the Youth Care Center, Atlantic General Hospital, and the health departments in Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties are scheduled to be in attendance. Each will have booths set up and provide information or activities and giveaways.
Attendees can participate in free activities such as pony rides, face painting, Zumba fitness workouts or try out StryKO boxing gear. Portraits created by Patrick Henry will be raffled off and a few guest speakers are slated to speak including Sen. Jim Mathias and support group family members who have lost loved ones to overdoses and substance abuse.
“We are looking forward to an awesome time,” Johnson said. “The main thing we want to stress is we will have a plan of action and things in place people can sign up for. We want to put people in a place to receive the resources they need. In order for us to eradicate the opioid epidemic, we need to all be a part of the change.”
Enjoy a live 90-minute performance from Ocean City native Jimmy Charles around 3 p.m. in addition to music from Hype Entertainment, and jazz saxophonists Carl Sally and Tony Watson Jazz Trio.
“There is a big need for opioid addiction awareness and I was happy to help,” Charles said. “The entire country is suffering an opioid epidemic including our Eastern Shore. It’s a cause that we need to stay on top of and continue to bring awareness and education to just how deadly and easily addictive opioids are. This is an especially important message to our impressionable youth. In addition to performing the event, I will be speaking with the entire Snow Hill High School the day before.”
Sponsors of the Maryland in Motion Community Outreach Festival are Sysco, Perdue, Pepsi, Pohanka, American Legion Post 166 and Waterman’s.
“The event is outdoors and fun for all ages,” Charles said. “There are so many activities and entertainment. There is nothing better than supporting a great cause and having fun while you’re doing it. I’m proud to come home and once again be a part of another event to better our Delmarva community.”
The Maryland in Motion Community Outreach Festival will be moved to Snow Hill High School if there is inclement weather.
On Saturday evening from 8-11 p.m., an appreciation celebration for the event sponsors will take place at the new Residence Inn, located near the Route 90 bridge in Ocean City. It is open to the public. The theatre-style comedy show will take place in the White Marlin Room and feature comedians Steve Wilson and Ocean Glapion. Donations are suggested.
Visit www.youthccenter.com for more information.