Fighting for Alyssa, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of substance abuse and addiction, recently awarded $71,000 in grants to fight drug abuse. The nonprofit was founded by Lea Heidman and Brian Malone after their daughter, Alyssa Apostolakis, died from a heroin overdose in 2015.

Apostolakis wanted to be a counselor to help children and young adults struggling with drug addiction.

At the organization's second annual golf tournament at the Firestone Country Club, which raised $85,000, Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Tom Teodosio presented the following grants, which ranged from $2,000 to $3,000: The LCADA Way, C.A.T.S., Cathy’s House, Robby’s Voice, The Recovery Center of Medina County, Hope United, Restore Addiction Recovery, Cover 2 Resources, The Lantern, Ohio Guidestone, Hope Recovery Community, IBH Addiction Recovery Center, and Summit County Community Partnership. Collectively, these organizations provide a combination of awareness, treatment and prevention to individuals and their families battling substance abuse across 26 counties in Ohio.

Two larger grants were also awarded: $12,000 to CommQuest Services and $20,000 as part of a previously announced $100,000 five-year commitment to Akron Children's Hospital to establish the Addiction Services Program. Heidman and Malone also personally pledged $200,000 over the same period to the hospital's efforts.

“With the foundation’s support, we have embarked on a comprehensive approach to prevention, education and treatment for families across our region who are afflicted by the disease of addiction in all its many destructive forms. Alyssa’s spirit will continue to live through our partnership, and we will honor her legacy daily in our work together,” said Children's Hospital's Dr. Sarah Friebert.

CommQuest Services, which runs a women's residential treatment facility, Deliverance House, will be renaming its main group therapeutic room in honor of Apostolakis.

"This facility serves over 200 women and their children every year, and the generous gift from Fighting for Alyssa will allow us to expand vocational training and therapeutic offering to clients at this facility," said Keith Hochadel, president and CEO of CommQuest.

For more information, go to www.fightingforalyssa.org.

 

Beacon Journal consumer columnist and medical reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/topics/linfisher.