Celebration Of HOPE Walk Brings The Recovery Community Together

HOPE Sheds Light founders Stephen Willis, Arvo Prima and Ron Rosetto at the 2016 Celebration of HOPE Walk, an annual event held in Seaside Heights to promote awareness and provide support for those affected by addiction. (Photo courtesy HOPE Sheds Light)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS – HOPE Sheds Light is gearing up for its 4th Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk on the Seaside Heights Boardwalk on Saturday, September 9. Registration starts at 8 a.m. on the Hiering Avenue beach and costs $10, including a t-shirt.

The Toms River-based non-profit HOPE Sheds Light was founded in 2012 after Ron Rosetto lost his son Marc to a battle with substance abuse. The organization now provides resources and education to families affected by the disease of addiction, and to date, over 1,000 individuals have attended its family group meetings.

“At the Celebration of HOPE Walk, our community can come together to learn about addiction and recovery and provide hope to those affected,” said Rosetto. “Those suffering typically don’t know where to turn for help. Our walk offers them a community of support.”

The two-mile fundraising walk continues to grow every year. Last year, over 1,200 people joined the cause. Families can use the walk to learn about resources, meet other people dealing with addiction and substance abuse, and listen to inspirational speakers. There is also a Tree of HOPE to remember those who have passed away, as well as onsite vendors and raffles.

“This year, we are hoping to have 2,000+ participants create a sea of yellow on September 9th,” said HOPE Sheds Light co-founder Stephen Willis. “It is just so powerful to see our community come together to provide hope for those suffering from the epidemic.”

Last year, walkers were able to create fundraising teams and it proved successful. Each team needs to have at least four members with a minimum goal of raising at least $500. The team that raises the most money for HOPE Sheds Light will be called out at the walk.

To learn more, visit HOPEShedsLight.org.

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Sara Grillo served as the Assistant News Editor/Writer at Micromedia Publications in 2017. She has lived in numerous areas within Monmouth and Ocean Counties for the past 9 years. Grillo studied Journalism and Communication Arts at Ramapo College and has held positions in Marketing, Public Relations and Sales prior to writing for Micromedia. She left in October of 2017 to pursue creative writing.