On September 6, 2017, Belgrade residents Karen and Stephen Hardy will set out on a 700-mile bike ride around the state of Maine to raise awareness about addiction. Both Karen and Stephen have been personally affected by the devastating effects of addiction and with this ride will raise funds for two Maine organizations. The Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, in Augusta, will receive funds raised to support the education and training in the use of the lifesaving drug, Narcan, also called Naloxone. They will also donate money raised to the Oxford House. The need for safe and supportive housing for those in recovery is critical. Representatives of both of these organizations have been identified.
In the state of Maine, one person dies daily from a drug overdose, as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2015, it was determined that 144 people every day died of drug overdoses in the country. Those numbers are likely to be higher for 2016.
Karen and Stephen are raising money through the Facebook page, Cycle for Addiction Awareness, and GofundMe pages have been set up for each of these recipients with more information. People are invited to like the page, share their stories of recovery and what they want people to know about addiction, and also to ride and support the awareness-raising in that way as well.
The ride will begin in Belgrade and will go North as far as Caribou and Presque Isle, Houlton, and will also pass by Mt. Katahdin. Karen and Stephen will welcome financial support but plan to fund their ride, lodging and food on their own. Other fundraising efforts will be ongoing until September with events held at the Wellness Center they run, Mind, Body, Soul Wellness, LLC located in Belgrade.
For those interested in donating to their endeavor, you can go to GofundMe pages: www.gofundme.com/ride-for-addiction-awareness, for the Oxford House, or www.gofundme.com/ride-for-addiction-awareness-maar for Maine Alliance for Addiction.