Hundreds gather for Angel Walk to honor lives lost to addiction

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 10:55 AM EDT
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - Hundreds of people gathered for the fourth annual Angel Walk in Maumee on Saturday. It’s an event to help those who have lost loved ones to drug overdose and pay tribute to those who have suffered from addiction.

Ross Horton organized the event held at the Lucas County Recreation Center. He’s lost two children to heroin overdoses and believes the key to recovering from addiction is social connection.

“A lot of us needed this after not being able to have it last year,” said Horton. “The people are anxious to get back out here and be amongst people who understand what it’s like to lose a loved one, so the support is fantastic.”

Horton said he first started the Angel Walk to pay tribute to the children he’s lost to overdose but it became a way to raise awareness of overdose deaths in Lucas County and the Toledo area.

“It’s important to let people know they’re not alone, especially if they’re lost and they don’t know who to reach out to,” said Horton. “Nobody understands what it’s like unless you’ve been through it.”

Cathy Burkowski, an event organizer, said it means a lot being around people who have shared similar experiences.

“We can come together and celebrate the people we’ve lost,” said Burkowski. “We all understand each other and it’s great to see so many familiar faces.”

Horton said more than 500 people came out to the Angel Walk and organizers are planning ahead for next year.

“If there’s anyone out there struggling with addiction, please reach out and ask for help,” said Burkowski. “There are so many people out here who really care — and we believe in you.”

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