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Foundation fights opioid crisis in honor of local woman

by Christine Wolkin

On October 20th, more than 200 individuals attended the Kaitlin Murphy Foundation’s First Annual Golf Outing at The Bucks Club in Jamison, raising a tremendous amount of money to be distributed to charities doing work to fight addiction.

More than 100 local businesses and restaurants donated products and gift cards and more than 125 individual donations were received.

The organization’s mission is simple: bring awareness to the addiction epidemic.

The Kaitlin Murphy Foundation was founded this past summer by the Murphy family in honor of their beloved member, Kaitlin, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012.

A graduate of Central Bucks South, Kaitlin was the epitome of the All-American girl.

She was smart, beautiful, funny, sweet, athletic, compassionate, educated, popular and engaging before addiction took her life.

“We have spent five years grieving the loss of our beautiful daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend; and now we are ready to FIGHT back against addiction!” said the Murphy family.

In addition to raising money for notable charities fighting addiction, the Kaitlin Murphy Foundation speaks with local high school students, participates in various public awareness forums, meets with law enforcement and government leadership, and engages with similar foundations to activate synergies in capabilities and networks.

“In the absence of requested government grants, which left a huge void in funding for a very real problem, we rely on organizations like the Kaitlin Murphy Foundation to fund addiction recovery initiatives in Bucks County to bring about positive community change,” says Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub.

“We would like for people to know that there are solutions to the drug epidemic and by being solution-focused, we can combat this community-impacting epidemic together,” said Annemarie Murphy, sister-in-law of Kaitlin. She continued, “As a collective community, we need to take a synergistic approach to solving the problem by pooling our collective influence, networks, resources, and personal connections to drive positive outcomes. We need to knock down the barriers that are preventing those from entering recovery. We need to communicate more effectively as to the available community education and support services. We need to change the stigma associated with addiction so more addicts and their families will seek support. And we need to make access to treatment simpler.”

The Kaitlin Murphy Foundation supports and partners with the Warrington Township Police Department BPAIR Program, Bucks County Police Assisting in Recovery, The Moyer Foundation’s Camp Mariposa, that help to make a difference in the lives of addicts and their families.

“Additionally, we have been meeting with other organizations who share in The Kaitlin Murphy Foundation’s passion to battle the drug epidemic and will be adding many more ‘partners’ to whom we will provide financial support to their programs,” said Annemarie.

The foundation is in the early planning stages of future fundraising events.

“With our mission being to bring together community and raise awareness as well as raise the needed funding, we are looking at a variety of events that will be engaging and fun. Our next event will be in the early part of 2018,” said Annemarie.  

In Bucks County specifically, available resources are plentiful for those struggling with addiction, as well as for their families.

Services are offered via the Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commissions, Drug & Alcohol Treatment Centers, Online Resources, Alcoholics & Narcotics Anonymous, as well as many other publicly available resources.

“We have to continue to let those in our community know that we are here to support them and their families as they battle addiction,” said Annemarie. “Most importantly, we can save lives by working together.”

For more information about the foundation or additional resources visit www.kaitlinmurphyfoundation.org.

PHOTO CAP: Kaitlin Murphy