Home Local News PHOTOS: Steve’s Wings Overdose Awareness Rally ’22

PHOTOS: Steve’s Wings Overdose Awareness Rally ’22

One candle lights another during a vigil for local overdose victims Saturday, Aug. 13 in downtown Rockingham. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The names and photos of 34 people lost to drug addition were spread across two banners Saturday at the second annual Steve’s Wings Overdose Awareness Rally.

The overdose victims ranged in age from 21-58 years old.

According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Richmond County had the highest overdose rate in the state in 2021 and a combined 57 deaths in 2020 and 2021.

Relatives of several of those on the banner attended the event in the parking lot across from the Richmond County Judicial Center.

Steve’s Wings was founded about two years ago by Melissa Schoonover and is named in honor of her father, Steve Odom, who passed away in early 2020.

The Richmond County Department of Social Services and Sandhills Behaviorial Care both had booths set up, with volunteers distributed literature on drug addiction. DSS had examples of harm reduction kits, which include pamphlets and a dose of naloxone.

On the lighter side, there were bounce houses from Players Jump and Play and a dunking booth.

Several former addicts from up and down the East Coast shared their respective testimonies of how far they sank and how far they’ve come.


The event ended with a candlelight vigil while a video played with descriptions of those featured on the banner.

The RO will have more on the rally in the coming days.

See photos from the event below.

Note: This story has been modified from its original version.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.