3rd Annual Addiction Awareness Vigil Draws Hundreds to Downtown New Canaan

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.

2nd Annual Overdose Awareness Vigil Draws Hundreds to Downtown New Canaan

Nearly 500 people gathered at the corner of South Avenue and Elm Street on Thursday evening to attend New Canaan’s second annual Overdose Awareness Vigil, hosted by the New Canaan Parent Support Group and the New Canaan Community Foundation. Residents 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 crowd. The founder of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, Paul Reinhardt, whose son Evan’s passing in July 2015 from a drug overdose inspired him to create the group, said shared stories will keep the conversation about addiction and recovery going and, hopefully, encourage others to open up and share their struggles as well. “I think one of the most important things is having the four people from the community share their story of addiction being in their family—both all the pain that went with it and the recovery that takes place after it,” Reinhardt told NewCanaanite.com. “Even someone like me who lost his son, the chance that I’ve had to channel Evan’s memory through the New Canaan Parent Support group and an event like tonight’s is a positive story.

Did You Hear … ?

Something must’ve happened out front of the 1850-built commercial building on the corner of Main Street and East Avenue, home to a gift shop, swimwear store and tailor. The town on Wednesday received a Freedom of Information Act request from a Stamford-based law firm for all New Canaan Police Department incident reports this month concerning snow or ice at 102 Main St., including abutting sidewalks. The request, from Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, also seeks info on falls, complaints, fines, blight citations, 911 calls and building permit applications related to gutters, downspouts, roofs or sidewalks there. ***

Now that we’re in budget season, here’s a look at what the highest elected official is paid in New Canaan and nearby towns:

 

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The developer who earned high praise recently from historic preservationists for his design of a new house on Forest Street said throughout the process that it was important to him to be respectful of the neighborhood’s history. In fact, Tom Sturges is the great-grandson of Imogene Seymour, who had been curator for the New Canaan Historical Society from 1959 to 1968.

Letter to the Editor: Thank You To Those Who Made Vigil Possible

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, I thank the people of our town for uniting together during the first-ever Overdose Awareness Day & Vigil on Aug. 31 in downtown New Canaan. It was great to have over double the expected turnout at around 600. We ran out of candles! This event had three goals: 1) to honor and remember those who died too soon; and 2) to come together as a community to openly discuss addiction and mental health; and 3) learn how we can all help others to heal.

Hundreds Gather Downtown for Overdose Awareness Vigil

More than 400-plus people gathered at the Pop Up Park downtown Thursday night to honor those who have died from accidental drug overdoses as well as those struggling with addiction. Those attending the New Canaan Parent Support Group and New Canaan Community Foundation’s vigil on National Overdose Awareness Day heard emotional, heartfelt stories shared by four individuals—two from those in recovery from addiction and two from parents who had a child succumb to the disease. One of those parents was Paul Reinhardt, founder of the New Canaan Parent Support Group, whose son Evan, a graduate of New Canaan High School in 2009, passed away due to a drug overdose in July 2015. “Evan was a true jokester,” Reinhardt told the crowd on a clear, cool night. “He was always out to have fun and amuse those around him to make them happy—always thinking about the other guy.