For the third consecutive year hundreds gathered at the corner of South Avenue and Elm Street on Thursday evening to attend New Canaan’s third annual Addiction Awareness Vigil, hosted by the New Canaan Parent Support Group and the New Canaan Community Foundation. Community members of New Canaan and neighboring towns, state and local officials, professionals in recovery treatment, clergy and those in recovery and with loved ones who have encountered the pain, heartache, hardships and struggles addiction brings formed the night’s crowd. Paul Reinhardt, who three years ago founded the New Canaan Parent Support Group, inspired by his son Evan’s passing in July 2015 from a drug overdose, has firsthand seen the significance of what offering one’s help to another can mean. In the time since the support group’s inception, over 100 parents have attended at least one meeting, with many of those continuing to come back because it was “the only place for them to go,” Reinhardt said. And such support is what lies at the heart of the community pledge that was added to this year’s installment of the vigil’s ceremony. It reads as follows:
“I pledge that I will reach out to someone who is struggling.