Wicomico Goes Purple kicks off Sept. 4 at Perdue Stadium

During last year’s Wicomico Goes Purple, Prince Street 5th-grader Zakyi Dupont had his face painted by JMB “Go Purple Club” volunteer Zoe Binns.

We will all be seeing shades of purple in September, as Wicomico County raises awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.

Throughout September, which is National Recovery Month, Wicomico businesses, organizations, churches and residents are encouraged to install purple lighting, decorations, etc. The hope is that the color will spark thoughtful discussion in our community.

“The mission of our initiative is to encourage conversations about the dangers of substance abuse and encourage both our community and our young citizens to take a stand against this epidemic,” said Stephanie Willey, Chairwoman of Wicomico Go Purple.

The Wicomico County Health Department works year-round to educate and save lives. Health Officer Lori Brewster said statistics show overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in people younger than 50. She encourages parents to talk to their kids about the dangers. If needed, the Wicomico County Health Department can provide contacts for trained professionals and support groups. 

“We need to continue to educate everyone that this epidemic impacts each and every one of us, some more than others,” Brewster said. “This campaign will assist everyone in getting the information, becoming involved in the conversation and helping our community move forward.”

Wicomico Goes Purple will kick off Friday, Sept. 4, with a special Family Movie Night at the Shorebirds Stadium, sponsored by Valvoline. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Other events planned include a Window Decorating Contest sponsored by the city of Salisbury, and a Wicomico Goes Purple Food Drive.

The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a panel discussion at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Thursday, Sept. 17, in partnership with Somerset Rains Purple.  Panelists will include Sheriff Mike Lewis, State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes — both of whom serve as Honorary Chairs of Wicomico Goes Purple — and Brewster.

Willey said the community embraced the initiative last year, and she is excited to see it grow this year.

“This crisis has impacted so many of our neighbors; it has ravaged families, businesses and the community,” she said. “Awareness starts at home and, working together, we can all make a difference.”

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