Brooklyn, NY (September, 22, 2017) – Boyd Melson, a retired boxing champion and Major in the United States Army Reserve, will continue assisting in the fight against Staten Island’s opioid epidemic at the “Heroes of Hope” festival Saturday, September 23. Melson was asked to serve as a guest speaker at the festival in order to help inspire those attendance battling drug addictions and he gladly accepted the opportunity to speak.
The festival takes place from 11 am until 4 pm at Church of the Gateway, located at 2000 Boscombe Ave in Staten Island, NY. More than 40 organizations and churches are participating in this free event. In 2016, more than 500 people came to support the ongoing battle against opoids.

Staten Island has one of the most serious opioid crises in the US, with 70 deaths and 200 overdoses in 2017 alone. The main focus of the festival is to offer a helping hand to individuals looking to combat addiction and the families affected by the addictions of their loved ones.

“The drug epidemic on Staten Island is scary and impacts both men and women, old and young, from all walks of life,” said Melson, who hosts free boxing clinics on Staten Island to assist those battling or overcoming addiction. “There’s a lot of work to be done because beating addiction is extremely difficult. It requires the assistance of friends, family, and most importantly, the positive will of an individual addicted. I have spent a great deal of time volunteering on Staten Island at Camelot, a residential drug rehabilitation program for young men. I lead them in group one Tuesday a month, and help put together constructive events for them to participate in outside of Camelot. These young men are exactly why the HOPE Program is a necessity on Staten Island. You treat a disease, you win or lose. You treat a person, you always win. The Heroes of Hope event is a blessing for Staten Island and I hope to inspire many people looking to knockout addiction.”