On Sunday, Nov. 20, the Albany Marriott at 189 Wolf Road will host a Faces of Addiction Fashion Show.
The show starts at 9:30 a.m. and tickets are from $45 to $55 and include brunch.
October was designated National Substance Abuse Prevention Month five years ago in 2011, yet numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that heroin-related overdose deaths have tripled across the country from 2011 to 2014.
Organizers of a fashion show benefit to raise awareness and support for those impacted by the heroin epidemic, are taking a holistic approach to finding solutions to the many issues surrounding prevention and recovery. On November 20th, the Faces of Addiction Fashion Show Committee is bringing the greater community together including residents and business owners, for a brunch event with a fashion show, vendors, and speaker panel that represents those in recovery, law enforcement and treatment providers.
Otto Cadillac along with Roberts Auto Service, both sponsors of the Faces of Addiction Fashion Show, will donate a van to the Hope House Women and Children’s Center, to assist families in recovery with transportation.
“On behalf of Otto Cadillac, we are eager to help our community members and their families who are struggling with this opioid epidemic,” said Otto. “It is our pleasure to donate a van to The Women’s and Children’s Community Residence to help the families staying there to be transported to their various destinations to help them throughout their treatment. It is important that these families are able to stay together and we are humbled to help to make their recovery a bit easier.”
The November 20th event will be emceed by Today Show contributor and Niskayuna resident Jene Luciani. The show features professional models as well as men and women recovering from addiction. Macy’s will outfit the men who will model the latest fashions. A dynamic line-up of speakers includes:
Brenda Eagle-Davis, a mom in recovery;
Cortney Lovell, founder and director of WRise Consulting and substance abuse/addiction prevention specialist; and
Andrew McKenna, author, consultant and speaker. His memoir, “Sheer Madness: From Federal Prosecutor to Federal Prisoner” details his journey to recovery.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple will speak about SHARP, Sheriff’s Heroin Addictions Recovery Program, a program that he formed last fall and several inmates have since graduated from.
“Each time I mentioned this idea of a fashion show for addiction awareness to people, they shared a story of someone they know personally who is struggling with addiction or told me of someone that they lost to overdose,” said Event Organizer Melissa O’Reilly. “The heroin epidemic is here and it’s taking young lives away. I am shocked and overwhelmed by the number of people in our communities affected by opiates and the number of local obituaries that cite drug addiction and overdose as the cause of death.”
“Hope House is honored to be a part of the “Faces of Addiction” fashion show and is grateful for the proceeds that will come our way,” said Kevin M. Connally, Executive Director of Hope House, Inc. “Financial support and donations like these help clients that graduate from our programs obtain necessary items, that are often taken for granted – like linens and pots and pans -to start living independently in a sober apartment. This event is not only about raising money; it brings awareness to a problem that is rampant in our community and impacts all of us.”
O’Reilly and the Faces of Addiction committee’s goal is to show the faces of addiction to help remove the stigma and help those who need support in recovery from addiction. “We want to assist those who are addicted on their journey to recovery, as well as helping families and friends of those addicted to get the support and assistance they need. Many people have said not enough is being done in the community in terms of prevention, awareness and support for recovery,” said O’Reilly.