ELK COUNTY--“Messengers on Missions” (M.O.M.S.) and the Mecca_Mann Mission have teamed up to promote awareness of substance abuse and do everything they can to help fight the growing problem of drug overdose deaths in the area.
United by tragedy, with the deaths of their children, these moms have made it their mission to wipe out drug abuse and stop the disturbing trend upwards of drug overdoses in the region.
Fox Township resident Patricia Greene, formerly from Ridgway, has experienced the pain first-hand of losing a loved one to addiction. After the death of her son Danny seven years ago, she decided to use her experience as fuel for bringing awareness on how addiction affects the addict themselves and can have a ripple effect, reaching loved ones and throughout the community. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of putting a face and name on individuals who have suffered from addiction. She and the mothers in her group were joined by Mecca-Mann Mission President DeAnna Brooks and Vice President Lynell Rusciolelli, who co-founded the Mecca-Mann Mission in 2019. Both women know the heartache of loving children through the horrific struggles of addiction, then losing their children, Kaysie Mann and Andy Mecca, to substance use disorder and/or fentanyl poisoning.
The growing problem of fentanyl has exacerbated the already tragic world of substance abuse and its effects on entire communities and families. Ridgway suffered its 10 drug overdose on Monday evening, and the tragic death of O'Ryan Murphy, whose murderers finally were brought to justice last Friday have underscored the point that drug abuse is not just a big city problem but happens every day right here in rural Pennsylvania.
M.O.M.S and Mecca-Mann spoke for over an hour to the Elk County Commissioners on Tuesday and presented them with copies of the book "Ripples" which contains many of their personal stories. On page after page of the book, these local moms share their stories, pain, and dedication to stop the scourge of drug abuse in the area once and for all.
While the book "Rippes" is available on Amazon, both groups suggest that residents buy the book locally and help directly support them without the online company taking a portion of the profits. The book can be purchased in Ridgway at Cliffe’s and Ridgway Chamber of Commerce, in St. Marys at St. Marys Pharmacy, Clyde’s Meat Market, and Dream Catch, in Kersey at Corner Market & Deli and Kneading Hands by Jacki Bater, and Always in Bloom in Coudersport. Greene hopes to expand book sales and has requests from businesses in Kane, Austin, and DuBois. The Mecca-Mann group also has a table at the Johnsonburg Farmers Market each Wednesday from 3-6 p.m.
The Commissioners thanked the groups for meeting with them, and plans are being made for an Elk County Drug Summit. Law enforcement, local leaders, business people, and County officials bring more awareness to the growing problem.
The local drug dealers have made enemies, and with the help of these local moms, their days are numbered in Elk County. These brave women are dedicated to the mission and will not stop until no more children die in Elk County from drugs.
Tips to the Elk County Drug Task Force can be submitted anonymously on the Elk County website co.elk.pa.us/index.php/drug-tip-form