A life tragically cut short in Waterloo has led to the formation of an event aimed at spotlighting substance abuse.
Earlier this week, a Waterloo family was devastated by the unexpected loss of Waterloo High School graduate Cameron Fowler. “Cameron was only 18-years-old and loved by everyone,” said Jonathin Fowler, one of the organizers behind the event.
Fowler, of DJ Contracting along with Eddie Branch are co-sponsoring the event, which will start at the Tops Friendly Market parking lot in Waterloo. “We’ll be protesting until all supporters make their way home,” explained Fowler, who said that the entire event was formed in a whirlwind over a couple days.
“Our community needs all the support we can get,” Fowler added. Funding for substance abuse has been difficult for local officials to get their hands on. The epidemic is growing so quickly that many the problem remains an uphill battle. Local officials have worked tirelessly for more funding to help with treatment facilities, preventive measures, or greater law enforcement efforts — but many in the community believe more needs to be done.
Cameron’s passing was unexpected, and something that families and communities across the state and country are dealing with every day.
“Our goal is to help spread the word of what this does to families,” Fowler continued, pointing out that the ultimate goal is to get drugs off the streets. “Maybe we can help spread the word, raise awareness, and get some help with this problem impacting every community.”
Since 2010, heroin-related overdose deaths have quadrupled in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2016 more than 64,000 deaths were reported due to drug overdose.
More concerning, the CDC notes that heroin use has more than doubled in the last decade among those aged 18 to 25.
Organizers are encouraging residents from around the region to get involved. “We’re looking for volunteers to help with a podium and loading speakers,” Fowler explained. He said that anyone interested in participating in the protest itself can show up that day.
“Again, we’re just hoping to make a difference in the community,” Fowler added.
Among those slated to speak, Cameron’s father, John Fowler, of Waterloo and other family members and friends. Organizers say that the event will feature a former-user, who will speak about sobriety.
Anyone interested in helping or speaking can call Jonathin Fowler at (607) 279-5653 or Eddie Branch at (315) 604-0541.
IF YOU GO:
Location: Tops Friendly Market Parking Lot
Address: 1963 Kingdom Plaza, Waterloo, NY 13165
When: Saturday, January 6th at 12 pm
Who: Contact Jonathin Fowler at (607) 279-5653