Brielle Holds A Fresh Start Fundraiser

Front row, from left, are Kimberly Carlson of A Fresh Start; Megan DeAngelo Baron of the WCA Hospital Foundation; and Melanie Witkowski, CASAC executive director. Back row, from left, are Steven Cobb, Mental Health Association associate director; Ed Shults III, Shults Management Co.; Kurt Johnson, owner of Shawbucks; and Tim Edborg, president of AGP Records.

Brielle Edborg performed a live concert at Shawbucks to raise money to help A Fresh Start, the Mental Health Association, Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council and the WCA Foundation and their efforts to prevent substance abuse, raise awareness of the area’s substance abuse issues and help with recovery efforts.

County Executive Vince Horrigan discussed Chautauqua County’s ongoing efforts and introduced Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who shared the efforts being made at the national level.

On Feb. 26, 2016, Kim Carlson lost her only son, Alex, to a heroin overdose. Because of her love for her son, and her love for the community, Carlson reached out to see if anyone would be interested in being “part of the solution” to raise awareness and to educate the community on the growing heroin addiction problem.

“Our goal is to help people understand abuse disorders, addiction and alcoholism. So many people don’t get the help they need because of stigma and not knowing where to go, we are going to have the resources available to educate them.” Carlson said. “My son Alex had a zest for life. He was hardworking, well mannered, physically fit, and by all accounts a happy and healthy 26-year-old man. I knew that if this could happen to my son, our family, that it could happen to anyone. I had to take a stand to find a way to bring light to this situation. Losing a child is the most horrific pain a parent will ever feel. I say that I talk about my child so people can talk to their children. Through our experience, communication, knowledge, open minds and open hearts we can bring change so that others might not feel our pain.”