HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In November, Connecticut REALTORS®, iHeartMedia, and News 8 teamed up with four-time Grammy Award-winner Keith Urban to raise awareness and money for an issue that is significantly impacting Connecticut: the opioid crisis.
At least two people in the Nutmeg State die every day from an opioid overdose.
For weeks, News 8 highlighted the battle Connecticut residents face with addiction, the loss of a loved one, their push to break the stigma around opioid abuse, and much more.
In addition to sharing your stories, Urban headlined “CT Recovers: A Concert for Recovery” at Mohegan Sun on Nov. 17.
While on stage, Urban spoke about the struggle many have with addiction and gifted a signed guitar to 12-year-old Maddy Morrissey, who lost her brother to an opioid overdose in August — one month before tickets for the concert went on sale.
Through ticket sales, the “text to donate” campaign, and Ticketmaster’s donated fees from ticket sales, the campaign raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Proceeds from the concert ticket sales to the public were donated by CT REALTORS® to the CT REALTORS® Foundation to provide charitable grants to organizations in CT addressing all aspects of the opioid crisis. In addition, Ticketmaster donated its fees associated with the concert tickets to the CTR Foundation. That combination, plus proceeds from a “text to donate” campaign totaled more than $600,000.
“The focus of this campaign is to break the stigma associated with opioid use disorder, and we are already seeing the evidence that it’s working,” said Michael Barbaro, chair of the CT REALTORS® Opioid Work Group. “We are hearing so many positive stories of people who are struggling that are now reaching out for help. The goal was to save lives and we are confident we are doing that.”
For those who could not partake in the concert, they can watch “CT Recovers” — a one-hour special that highlights the warning signs of opioid use disorder and includes an interview with Urban hosted by News 8’s Ann Nyberg and select songs from the concert.
You can watch the special in the player above.
Watch: Ann Nyberg sits down with Keth Urban to talk about his music
“We are proud to broadcast this CT Recovers exclusive presentation,” said Rich Graziano, Vice President and General Manager WTNH & WCTX TV. “Through awareness and education, we want everyone in Connecticut to start a conversation and break the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder. Thank you to the Connecticut REALTORS®, iHeartMedia, and to all those who have contributed to make this a successful campaign that will save lives in our home state.”
For more information on how to help fight the state’s opioid epidemic, visit CT Recover’s website.