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Annual Safer Streets event is a big hit in Tamaqua

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    Lisa Carroll of Tamaqua places a photo on a memorial ribbon at the Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet event at Owl Creek, Tamaqua, on Saturday. The memorial was for those who died from drug overdose. Carroll said her husband and sister were victims of drugs. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

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    Jaylessa Kane, 6, of Tamaqua, tosses a ball into milk jugs and wins a prize at the fourth annual Safer Street for Tamaqua’s Little Feet event at Owl Creek on Saturday. All games, refreshments and music was free at the event.

Published July 22. 2019 01:01PM

 

Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet held its fourth annual outdoor program and overdose awareness walk on Saturday, and the oppressive heat and humidity did little to deter attendance and participation.

The event drew hundreds of people throughout the day. It was held at the Owl Creek Reservoir grounds and featured games, refreshments, treats, prizes and activities — all of them free for attendees.

Various vendors were present, many offering help for individuals afflicted by drug abuse.

At the conclusion of the day’s events, a candlelight walk was held followed by a butterfly release.

Although called Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet, it was open to anyone from anywhere.

There was no admission charge, no cost to play the games such as the milkjug ball toss, and no money was needed for such things as popcorn, Italian ice or other available food.

Church groups, organizations and government agencies all banded together to deliver the message that drugs are not just harmful, but they can be deadly.

A large cardboard purple ribbon was displayed and people placed photos, flowers and messages in memory of those who died from drug abuse.

Lisa Carroll of Tamaqua placed a family photo on the ribbon. She said she lost her husband and a sister to drugs.

The featured speaker was Brandon Novak, best known from the MTV series “Jackass.” He also had roles in several “Jackass” movies in which he played a drug pusher named Dooli. He said that was the name of a drug dealer in Baltimore.

Novak spoke about the scourge of drug addiction. He is a former addict, with heroin being one of his addictions.

After being arrested and jailed for drugs, he pulled his life together, wrote a book titled “Dreamseller,” and presently works for a treatment center in Florida.

He autographed copies of his book for people.

Safer Streets for Tamaqua’s Little Feet was for held in Tamaqua, organized by John and Tammy Sienkiewicz, who lost their daughter a few years ago.

They moved the event to Owl Creek because of its rapid growth. Attendance rose from about 350 people the first year to more than 1,500 last year.

While a formal count of people isn’t taken, attendance was excellent.

 

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