Around Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful for what we have, I would like to extend my profound thanks to those who have come out in support of the Heroin Epidemic Action League and our mission to save lives and prevent suffering. We have been blessed to have the unbridled support of District Attorney Jon Budelmann, Sheriff David Gould, Detective Lt. Brian Schenck and all of the members of the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office, Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler and the members of his department, Mayor Michael D. Quill and the Auburn City Council, county Legislators Tim Lattimore and Mike Didio and the whole county Legislature, state Assemblyman Gary Finch, Sen. John DeFrancisco, U.S. Rep. John Katko, Investigator Tony Gower, state police BCI, the school district administrators throughout the county that have helped bring our program into the schools, The Citizen newspaper, our local TV and radio stations, Auburn Community Hospital CEO Scott Berlucci and his incredible staff including Tammy Sunderlin RN and Neal Greacen RN, our local foundations and businesses, East Hill Medical ... and so many others too numerous to name here.

As I look behind me I see the heart and soul our board members have poured into HEAL, our friends and volunteers who give so much and the people of Auburn and Cayuga County who have been there for us, for those in recovery and for those still suffering. I am overwhelmed by the generosity, dedication and love this represents. When I look ahead, I see a long road with a lot more to be done. I am grateful for the increase in services we are seeing and for the progress we are making in eliminating the stigma and shame from those who are suffering from a disease and I believe we are changing the world for the better and bringing hope to those who so desperately need it.

In January there will be a statewide effort to bring knowledge and understanding about this epidemic to every community in New York state, and there will be a series of local activities. I encourage everyone to participate in these events. In the meantime, please visit our website HealHeroin.org and our Facebook page Heroin Awareness Cayuga County. Contact us if you need help, if you want to volunteer or if you need information on services that are available to help those in need. Be safe, be well and again, THANK YOU for making our community one we can all be proud to live in.

Lon A. Fricano

Springport

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