The Santa Clarita Valley lost seven young men and women to drug overdoses in the past three years, but they are not forgotten.
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On Monday evening, the parents of these seven young people and the Action Family Foundation unveiled the No Forgotten Angels Christmas wreath at the KHTS kiosk in the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
The wreath bore pictures of Trae Allen, Cameron Wescott, Carlie Coulter, Sean Greaney, Nigel Peddie, Chad Blackburn and Kelsey Keener who had passed away.
About 40 people, family and friends of the victims, gathered for the ceremony.
Several of the parents spoke to those in attendance, as well as ACTION Founder Cary Quashen and KHTS AM-1220 Co-owner Carl Goldman.
ACTION Boardmember Krissy McAfee said that the purpose of the wreath was to help educate parents, because it is often not obvious whether a person is struggling with addiction, if someone were to just pass them on the street.
“I decided to do it, one, as a memorial for our kids that we’ve lost,” she said, “and, two, as another tool to bring more awareness–a lot of parents from my generation, my age, what we picture a drug addict to look like in our head is definitely not what a drug addict looks like.”
McAfee also said that she wanted to help remove the stigma of losing a loved one to drug addiction.
“I don’t want any of our kids to be forgotten, because they were not bad kids,” she said. “Most of them were sober and made the mistake of going back and trying it one more time. And that’s when it took their life.”
The wreath will be on display in the mall at the KHTS Kiosk until the end of December.
Everyone who came to the ceremony was asked to bring a toy and donate it to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station toy drive in memory of these seven young adults.
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