The Norman Transcript

August 17, 2013

Epic Day at Park raising awareness

By Jocelyn Pedersen
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A Noble family is turning tragedy into triumph by organizing an event called Epic Day at the Park.

Cyndy Hopper, along with daughter, Nikki Hopper, and grandchildren Alyssa and Jaden, are hosting the event in an effort to raise awareness about alcohol and drug addiction — a subject they understand intimately because the two women lost son and brother, Christopher Hopper, to a drug and alcohol overdose less than two years ago.

In an effort to give back to the organization that helped their family and to raise awareness about addiction, the Hopper family has organized a family day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Dane Park, 525 W. 8th St. Complete with inflatables, food, raffles and bands, the day will be filled with activities.

Bands scheduled to play include South Canadian River Bandits at 11 a.m., Gray Street at noon, RMP at 1 p.m., Gregg Standridge at 2 p.m. and Lord Landspeed at 3 p.m.

“Our idea was to give back to the community so another family would not lose a child and brother,” Cyndy Hopper said. “We want to raise awareness of alcohol and drug abuse. Prescription drugs are in your medicine cabinet and, unfortunately, kids know more about it than we do.”

“(This) free day in the park is to give kids a positive environment to be with their families,” Nikki Hopper said.

Proceeds from the raffles will benefit those who need services from the Norman Addiction Information and Counseling Services, a group that offers drug and alcohol outpatient counseling.

The nonprofit organization was founded by the Rev. Dick Virtue and opened its doors in 1972. The organization is dedicated to providing counseling, training, prevention and DUI school. The group will provide a speaker and information at the event.

“I think it’s amazing. It’s a part of their healing process. They lost a brother and a son. It’s pretty amazing that they’re doing this. You just don’t know how many people it affects,” NAIC’s Office Manager Susan Bennett said.

Sponsors for the event include Bramlett and Associates, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, Classic 50’s Drive In, Chick-Fil-A, Jimmy John’s and Riverwind Casino.

“Hopefully we’re going to be giving something to help remember Christopher,” Cyndy Hopper said. “We don’t want to have him die in vain.”

For more information about NAIC, visit naichelp.org or call 321-0022.