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Black Balloon Day remembers those who have succumbed to addiction

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  Approximately 100 people attended Saturday’s Black Balloon Dinner at The Bridge Recovery Center. Held in memory of Saugus resident Greg Tremblay, 38, who died on March 6, 2015, from an overdose, and his brother-in-law, Sean Hurley, 30, of Peabody, who died on Jan. 7, 2019, also resulting from an overdose – event organizer Diane Hurley said the movement originally began asking people to hang a black balloon outside of their home to see how many people the pandemic affected.

  In its initiation in 2016, 42,000 people joined, and a Facebook event quickly became international. “It was a simple thought that grew,” Hurley said. “I thank everyone for what they’ve done.”

  During the event, guests donated eight bags worth of supplies for those in detox.

Attendees Devin Tremblay, Erin Killeen, Matthew Ganem, Tara Killeen, Jennifer Fitzgerald and Scott McCabe
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AROUND THE DINNER TABLE: At left are event guests Amanda Cronin, Cathy McCool, Kim Costa, Annmarie DeCotis, Scott McCabe and Devyn Tremblay. At right are event guests Riley Stanford, Andrea DeCotis and Peter Stanford.
Addiction survivor and son Devin Tremblay, who is holding his daughter, Charlotte, said he has two black balloons tattooed on his neck.
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The Bridge Recovery Center Program Director Keriann Caccavaro said everyone knows someone who is struggling with addiction.
Mother-in-law Diane Hurley said a simple thought of placing a memorial black balloon outside of her home became an international phenomenon.
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Pictured by memorial balloons in memory of those lost to addiction, from left to right: The Bridge Recovery Center Peer Support Specialists Kerri Loftus and Amy McBrine, Volunteer Coordinator Tara Killeen, Assistant Director Anthony Mansi and Program Director Keriann Caccavaro.
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Malden residents Donnell and Joy Bailey are both in recovery.
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Malden resident Donnell Bailey, who is in recovery, paused in memory of his friend Bridgerre Ahearn, his brother, Michael Lewis, and his friend Noelani MacPhail, who died from addiction.
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Mother-in-law Diane Hurley, Barbara Casey and Noreen O’Shea
Guests Ed Skeffington, Joy Bailey, Shawn MacDonald and Jason Gelin are at left. Guests Melissa L’Italien and Shawn Kerivan are at right.
Stop the Stigma was the night’s theme. Malden Overcoming Addiction’s event was on Wednesday.
Pictured during Saturday’s Black Balloon Dinner at The Bridge Recovery Center, from left to right: Bottom row: Greg Tremblay’s sister-in-law, Lauren Cook, daughter Julia McManus and daughter Briana Tremblay; standing: son Brendan Tremblay, son Devin Tremblay, daughter-in-law Erica Tremblay, granddaughter Devyn Tremblay, sister-in-law Erlene McLaughlin, mother-in-law Diane Hurley and father-in-law John Hurley.

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