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Empty sneakers to remind community about toll of opioid epidemic

A candlelight memorial service to commemorate the lives lost to opioid addiction is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at LaSalle Park in Buffalo.

As part of International Overdose Awareness Day, loved ones of people who died from opioid overdoses are invited to bring an 8-by-10 inch photo, a pair of the person's shoes and empty pill bottles to the gathering. The names will be read aloud at the ceremony and a bell will be rung in their honor. Participants can email a photo as an attachment, along with the name and dates of birth and death, to be printed for the event. The photos and information can be sent to to Debra Smith at

The event will be held at the pavilion bandshell in LaSalle Park. It is sponsored by the Erie County Opiate Epidemic Task Force’s Family and Consumer Support and Advocacy group.


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