Town of Islip officials kicked-off “Islip Goes Purple” demonstrating unity in memory of the lives lost, those in recovery, those struggling and families affected by the Opioid/Heroin crisis.

More than 100 people gathered for the Sept. 26 inaugural event, including residents, local elected officials, school superintendents, principals, officials, hospital administrators, business owners, merchants and community leaders, showing their support for those whose lives have been affected by addiction.

“The Opioid and Heroin crisis does not discriminate. It affects everyone, regardless of economic or social status. There have been 21 deaths in the Town of Islip this year thus far. The majority were males between the ages of 30-39 years old. In 2018 in the Town of Islip, Fire and EMS agencies responded to 1,344 overdose-related 911 calls,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Supervisor Carpenter pulled the ceremonial lever, turning the Town Hall cupola from blue to purple. The Town Hall cupola will remain purple through Sept. 30 in recognition of September as National Recovery Month. Thursday’s event was the kick-off to what is now an annual month-long “Islip Goes Purple” campaign, beginning Aug. 31, 2020, and continuing through Sept.  30, 2020.

“The merchants and business community in our downtown have shown tremendous support for this cause,” said Supervisor Carpenter. “The purple flags on our streetlamps and the purple lights in our storefronts are testament to our Town’s commitment that our residents are not alone, and we are UNITED,” added the Supervisor.

Speakers included MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Executive Director, Youth Enrichment Services and Co-Chair of the Task Force; Kathy Koenigsdorf, Founder, the Jake K. Foundation and Nicole A., community member and parent. Also in attendance, Islip Town Councilman John Cochrane; Councilwoman, Mary Kate Mullen, a member of the Task Force; Receiver of Taxes, Alexis Weik; Town Clerk, Olga Murray, and Town of Islip Opioid/Heroin Task Force board members.