Page 12 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, November 19, 2021 MOA's 6th Annual Candlelight Vigil remembers lives lost to addiction Special to The Advocate O n Sunday, October 17, Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA) hosted its 6th annual Candlelight Vigil to memorialize those individuals taken from all of us by the insidious disease of addiction. Almost 200 people gathered to pay their respects on this day. Joining in were local clergy, MOA Board members, members of the Malden Opioid Task Force and several elected officials led by Mayor Gary Christenson. Also participating were Fire Chief Bill Sullivan and Police Chief Kevin Molis. Most importantly, families and friends grieving the loss of a loved one were in attendance for the vigil. The night began with a somber and slow walk from the steps of the Jenkins Auditorium at Malden High School around the corner on Ferry Street into the Malden High School Courtyard. There, a respectful silence overcame those in attendance as MOA Board of Directors President Paul Hammersley encouraged friends and families to view the symbolic lit candles and handwritten names of those being remembered. There was no rush to begin the speaking portion of the evening as those in the courtyard looked for their loved one’s name and stood quietly in reflection. One family and their friends gathered in a circle, held hands and prayed. It was just one emotional moment out of many that night. The vigil included guest speakers and concluded with the reading of the names of those being memorialized. In the background, photos of those lost scrolled by on a giant screen. As each name was read, Chief Sullivan rang the Fire Department Bell. The evening ended with singers Scott Best and Andrea Tracey singing “Amazing Grace.” MOA would like to thank everyone who contributed to the event, and it remains committed to erasing the stigma associated with addiction and to bringing resources to those in need of help and support. For more information visit the website https://www.maldenovercomingaddiction.com. Alan Fucci told his story of recovery to the approximately 200 attendees. John Greene spoke on the loss of his son, Evan. Malden Overcoming Addiction Board of Directors President Paul Hammersley is shown with his daughter, Bella; wife, Lisa; and his mom marching during the vigil. Mayor Gary Christenson addressed the crowd. Malden Overcoming Addiction Board of Directors Member Dana Brown read the names of those lost to addiction. Mayor Gary Christenson, Malden Police Chief Kevin Molis and Malden Fire Chief Sullivan lead the march at Malden Overcoming Addiction’s 6th Annual Candlelight Vigil. The support for one another was powerful. Malden Overcoming Addiction Board of Directors President Paul Hammersley addressed the crowd. People looked for their loved ones.

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