WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A recently created family foundation is seeking to raise $25,000 to help individuals struggling with substance abuse, with the help of MiraVista Behavioral Health Center.
The fundraiser is in honor of a 51-year-old member who lost his life during a relapse after a significant time in recovery. The foundation, named after East Longmeadow resident Sean Murphy, held a fundraiser Sunday afternoon at the Country Club of Wilbraham.
Admission was $20 and the benefit featured refreshments and more than 60 raffles, including a grand prize of a week’s stay on the West Coast of Ireland, according to a news release sent to 22News from MiraVista.
“I know Sean would be so touched and honored to have all this being done in his memory,” said Mary Bortolussi of her brother who died in 2022 after overdosing on a drug laced with fentanyl. “A lot of what he did in his own recovery was to help others. He made those struggling with addiction say, ‘I can find hope and light when somebody like me is doing something so good for people like me.”
22News spoke to Hope Murphy, daughter of the late Sean Murphy, about the significance of the event and how it will help others in the future.
“It just goes to show how many lives my dad touched and what we’re gonna continue to do is make sure that no one is ever in the position that we’re in and we just wanna make sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe to have you know a recovery plan,” Hope said.
Opioid and other substance abuse related deaths continue to increase across the country and the Murphy family who have been effected personally are now making a difference and hoping that no one has to go through what they did.
“I just think that it’s a beautiful testament to his life,” said Patrick Murphy, son of Sean Murphy. “The amount of people who showed up today and the amount of money we raised for great causes that’ll go a long way in the recovery community that really helped him when he was alive and we really appreciate everyone who came today.”
The money raised from the benefit and the more than $8,000 from a GoFundMe page will be used to help individuals in residential recovery programs, families with funeral expenses for loved ones who die from a drug overdose, as well as to revamp the waiting room into a welcome room in her brother’s honor at Holyoke-based MiraVista Behavioral Health Center.