Mayday hopes to curb drug, alcohol addiction


By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Thursday, September 28, 2017

HERTFORD — The second annual Mayday — a day-long regional event to highlight drug and alcohol addiction awareness and prevention — will be held Saturday at the Perquimans County Recreation Center.

“The event is growing, that’s for sure,” said Connie Riddick, Mayday’s organizer. “We have more speakers, more exhibits and more music. I guess we learned a lot from last year and this year we’re trying to perfect everything.”

The one thing last year’s event didn’t have was public attendance.

Riddick said she understands. There’s still a stigma about addiction, making some people leery to talk publicly about it.

“I get all of that, but our big mission is to help people,” she said. “We have people dying every day, and lives being ruined. Children don’t have parents to raise them in an environment that teaches them the core values.”

Riddick doesn’t expect those who are suffering from addiction to attend, but she hopes their friends and loved ones will.

“We’re trying to get people to unite together. If they know of somebody who is struggling, they can show them where they can get help.”

She’s painfully realistic about what Saturday’s Mayday won’t do.

“Nothing we can do in one day is going to change the problem,” she said. “It’s not what we’re trying to do.”

Saturday’s Mayday event starts with a 5-K “Run for Hope” run sponsored by an anti-substance abuse group at John A., Holmes High School. It starts at 8 a.m.; pre-registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $30.

The Mayday program, which will include speakers, musical entertainment and games, begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Educational exhibits will also be available during the event.

Speakers for the event include:

* 10 a.m. — Luke Marcum of the Elizabeth City Police Department

* 10:15 a.m. — Amy Underwood of the Albemarle Overdose Prevention Coalition

* 10:30 a.m. — Cynthia, a speaker from the group Nar-Anon

* 10:45 a.m. — Dr. Michael Bohan adn Saulo Ortis, a social worker

* 11:15 a.m. — Michael F, a speaker from the group Narcotics Anonymous

* 11:45 a.m. — Vickie J, a speaker from the groups Al-Anon and Nar-Anon

* Noon — Breakout sessions on “Ask the Doc”

Entertainment will begin at noon with a performance by Little Dickie and the Misfits. Performing from 1:15 p.m. until 2:20 p.m. will be Bobby Plough and Los Gringos. Drunken Confessions will play from 2:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m., and the Forrest Park Praise and Worship Band will perform from 3 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Youth activities including a corn hole tournament, beach volleyball, dodge ball, ladder ball and 9-square in the air, will be available from noon until 4 p.m. The Forest Park NEXT Youth Group will host the youth activities.