Thanks to everyone who supported us in making this year’s rally a success! Thanks to those who marched with us, joined us at the park, shared their stories as speakers, volunteered to help with preparation, set-up, and tear down. Thanks to our legislators who sent their representatives in a show of support and to deliver remarks on their behalf. Thanks to our friends in law enforcement who provided escorts to keep our marchers safe. Thanks to those who cooked and served lunch. Thanks to Andy, our D.A., for being a great emcee. Thanks to those who served on the rally committee and met many many times over the past several months. And of course, we want to extend a special thanks to the people and businesses who donated goods and funds to support the rally!

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for the event. About 100 people joined us at the park and we had just slightly less for the march. Our marchers had a ton of energy and kept up the chants of hope and recovery from start to finish. We had a great barbecue lunch at the park (complete with ice cream sandwiches for dessert!) and then heard from our wonderful speakers. People in recovery shared their stories of finding strength in people, in a higher power, and in themselves to fight for their recovery. A mother spoke of losing her daughter, and her brave grandson, only 10 years old, spoke of losing his mom. We remembered those who we’ve lost with a moment of silence, and looked forward to a time when we see “fewer butterflies on the hill.” Each year we plant a butterfly for each person in Maine that we lose to an overdose death in the preceding year. This year 418 butterflies memorialized those deaths in 2017.

It was an inspiring event and we’ll work hard to make it bigger and better with each passing year.

Thanks to Ben Tucker for sharing these photos from the rally. There are more posted on our Facebook page.