Spreading Hope: Student organizes Candlelight Vigil for Addicts

Published: August 01, 2013 | Read Time: 1 minutes

Cedar City will glow in community support Saturday, August 3, during a candlelight vigil to support those affected by addiction and alcoholism. As part of her final project for the University's EDGE (Education Designed to Give Experience) Program, Southern Utah University senior Jill Decker organized the event for addicts and alcoholics, as well as the family and friends of those who have passed away due to drug and alcohol abuse.

Through the EDGE program, each student must design and complete a hands-on project relative to their academic and extracurricular endeavors, thus applying their coursework to real life interests and aspirations in a meaningful learning experience. 

Decker, who has been personally affected by alcoholism, said she designed this project because she wanted to give hope to those struggling with addiction, as well as those close to them. Drawing upon her studies as a sociology major, Decker was able to pull the theory from her textbooks to see every side of addiction as she planned a vigil that would be inclusive of many different perspectives and experiences.

“Addiction and alcoholism affect many people in this community, and they need to know that there are others in the community struggling with the same issues,” explained Decker. “Whether its because they’re personally addicted to drugs or because a close family member died because alcoholism, this vigil is a chance for them to find hope and understanding.”

The vigil will begin at 8:30 p.m., when speakers will address those in attendance. The group will then light luminaries at 9:30 p.m. The vigil will be held at the Canyon Trail Bridge next to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation off of Highway 14 about 1.5 miles up Cedar Canyon. Candles will be provided.

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