WARRENTON, Mo. – A group of Warrenton residents gathered on Tuesday night to remember the victims of the drug epidemic.
One by one.
“Lizzy Cole; age 14,” Kelli Clodfelter said aloud to the dozens of people gathered outside the Casa Tequila in Warrenton.
Names and ages.
Clodfelter continued, listing more than 40 names of people who overdosed on drugs. “Dennis Reed; age 34.”
It’s not just the names being remembered, but the faces as well. Four billboards along Interstate 70 show the faces of more than 40 drug overdose victims.
“Every one of us here has lost somebody,” Lisa Alsawad said. “Everybody knows somebody that has lost somebody.”
Sabrina Wipfler had the idea to remember her nephew, who overdosed 11 years ago. Wipfler originally meant to just put up one billboard, but the idea grew.
“Enough is enough; not one more,” Wipfler said.
That sentiment became the slogan of those in attendance Tuesday evening, wearing shirts with “Enough is Enough” written across them.
“So, we’re out here to yell at the top of our lungs that enough is enough,” Clodfelter told FOX 2 on Tuesday.
There are now four billboards showing 42 victims, eight of them from Warrenton County.
Wipfler’s sister, Lisa Alsawad, lost her 20-year-old son.
“It’s a lot of people’s lives who have been affected,” Alsawad said.
For the next three months, the faces along Interstate 70 will serve as a reminder of the danger of drug overdoses, along with balloons, flowers, and a bench.
“We always leave an empty chair because they are not forgotten,” Alsawad said.
Family members hoping the loss of their loved one may save the life of another struggling with drug addiction.
“I’m not fighting this path to save my son. He’s gone,” Clodfelter said. “I’m fighting this fight for the next mother that she doesn’t walk this same path.”
The billboards will be up until the second week of January. Wipfler is hoping to fundraise more money to keep the billboards up longer.