A beacon of hope recently shined in Sylvan Lake.
Supporters gathered Saturday for a fundraiser benefiting the Safe Harbour Society in memory of Dayne Stumpf.
When Dayne died from an opioid overdose three years ago, his mother, Tanya Stumpf, promised to do what she could in his memory.
Up until the idea for Saturday’s fundraiser was presented to her by organizer Darren Dyrland, Stumpf had been doing small things, such as taking items to Safe Harbour at Christmastime and putting together donations for families who have also lost a loved one.
Dyrland wanted to do something as a way to pay it forward after celebrating five years of sobriety.
“It’s all about getting through the darkness to the light,” said Dyrland.
“It’s about raising awareness, getting people talking, and so that those who are in it know they can get to the other side.”
Buzz Vander Vliet, chair of the Safe Harbour Society, says aside from the event being a fundraiser to help the organization with program costs, it also served as a chance to engage in public education.
“It’s really quite a good thing, because you get a whole different group of people who are willing to listen to a message, and that’s probably the main thing why it’s important,” said Vander Vliet.
Stumpf said when she and Dyrland reached out to Safe Harbour, she was amazed to hear they don’t get a lot of offers of assistance.
“Seeing the stigma that there is, I lived in it, but I didn’t feel the stigma when I was doing drugs. Coming out of it, I surrounded myself with people where there is no stigma, and seeing it first hand and people’s reactions… it’s very eye opening,” said Dyrland, who said the event was the most humbling experience of his life by far.