Tonight, candlelight ceremony held to fight addiction

BELLEFONTE — Light a candle to remember those who fight the disease of addiction and lost and to honor those who continue to fight.

That’s the theme of a candlelight Remembrance Ceremony today at 6:30 p.m. on the steps of the Centre County Courthouse, 102 S. Allegheny St.

As part of “National Recovery Month,” the ceremony aims to honor memories, but also raise awareness, organizers said at a recent Board of Commissioners meeting.

The evening includes a welcome from Centre County Commissioner Steven Dershem, the lighting of Remembrance Candles with a Moment of Remembrance, led by Karlene Shugars, program specialist with the Office of Drug & Alcohol, and remarks from Cathy Arbogast, program administrator with the Office of Drug & Alcohol.

In the event of rain, the same event will move inside to the third floor of the Courthouse Annex, 106 E. High St.

Sponsored by the Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative, the event sees the Courthouse lit in purple with purple ribbons placed at key locations throughout the county, including the bridge at Talleyrand Park.

Since 2014, Centre County has lost 80 lives to drug overdose deaths.

Statewide, Pennsylvania has lost 4,642 to drug-related overdoses since 2016, according to HOPE information.

To honor these lives and to post a testimonial, visit

For information and resources on addiction and treatment, see