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Recovery fair set for Saturday

Riverside group to host event at community park

CHESAPEAKE — Riverside Recovery Services and the Chesapeake Police Department are teaming up this weekend to host a Ribbons for Recovery Resource Fair.

The event, will be from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and will take place at Chesapeake Community Park and is free and open to the public.

Amy Smart, director for Riverside, said the event is designed to help raise awareness about overdoses taking place in the community.

“We have 20 different agencies coming out,” she said. “The health department is going to be here, along with guest speakers.”

She said the keynote speaker will be Maurice Clarett, who was a running back for Ohio State University in the early 2000s.

“He’s going to be sharing his recovery story,” she said.

The event will feature door prizes from local businesses, given away every 30 minutes, as well as a car and bike show, with proceeds going to vehicles for the Chesapeake Police Department.

The police will be on hand, conducting a mini safety fair.

“They wanted to be part of it,” Smart said.

Those attending the event are invited to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to addiction by signing the Ribbons for Recovery poster.

Smart said the event will help to change the discussion to a positive.

“There’s been so much negativity,” she said, citing the case of Huntington, which had more than 25 reported overdoes in a day last week. “That could have easily been Chesapeake.”

While the issue of Riverside’s recovery house has been a contentious topic at Chesapeake council meetings, Smart extended an invitation to the fair to those who have questions, including, specifically, she said, Mayor Tommy Templeton, who has voiced his opposition to the home operating in Chesapeake.

She said many of those who were critical of the group in the past have come around.

“They see that it’s a positive influence on the community,” she said. “It takes everyone to fight this problem. It takes a village.”