A group of young women from Lake Zurich is urging the community to spend Saturday morning learning about heroin use in the suburbs.
Take A Stand, a group started by five women -- Heather Riley, Lindsey Ann Dulian, Shannon Brody, Megan Hartigan, and Ann DeMeyer Brody -- will host the awareness event and 5K walk in Lake Zurich.
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It starts at 10 a.m. at Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road, and will include several speakers before kicking off a 5K walk around the lake.
"We're hoping to bring together youth, parents and all of the communities effected for a nice therapeutic walk," said Lindsey Dulian, 24. "The main goal is to create awareness and deter youth from using heroin in the Northwest suburbs. We just want to see the number (of deaths) go down."
Take a Stand formed in January to raise awareness and funds through various events. All funds raised go to the Jeremy Stom Remembrance Foundation, a nonprofit started in memory of Stom, a Lake County teenager and Stevenson High School graduate who lost his battle with drug addiction in 2009.
Before kicking off the walk, the free event will host speakers including: Mike Mahoney, a recovering addict; Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran; Chris Migulski, a substance abuse professional; Sayra Stom, a member of the Jeremy Stom Remembrance Foundation; and Tom Habley, a teacher at Stevenson High School who knew Stom.
After the walk, there will be a balloon release to honor those who lost their lives to drugs across the Chicago suburbs. There will also be food and face painting available after the walk.
Several organizations will have booths at the event to hand out information including the Jeremy Stom Remembrance Foundation, Live4Lali, Nicolas Gift of Hope, Northwest Community Hospital's Substance Abuse Treatment Center, Alanon, Antioch Recovery Club, Gateway and more.
Organizers said heroin-related deaths was becoming a normal occurrence in their area, so they felt they needed to do something about it.
"If we can save one life, it's worth it," Dulian said.