LA GRANGE PARK – April Marin hopes to celebrate her late son’s birthday with as many of his friends as possible, while also warning them about the dangers of heroin.
Steven Marin, 20, died Oct. 10 last year at the Marin’s La Grange Park home of a suspected heroin overdose. April Marin had known her son smoked marijuana, but never suspected heroin. She thinks he was trying it for the first time and used too much.
Since, April Marin has become involved in several awareness campaigns on the dangers of heroin, an extremely addictive drug that is cheaper, more pure and more available than ever. Chicago is said to be the country’s current hotbed for heroin activity, which has for several years included the suburbs.
On Jan. 24, Steven Marin would have turned 21. Hoping his friends continue to celebrate his birthdays, April Marin is organizing a night of music, food and beverages to honor her son. The event, High on Life, will feature music from groups whose members include friends of Steven Marin, along with donated food and beverages and the chance to discuss the dangers of heroin.
“It’s for anybody who knew Steven, who wants to learn more about the cause,” April Marin said. “It’s not just for the kids. The parents need to hear about what’s out there.”
April Marin has been planning the event with the help of two of her son’s friends, Tim Geroulis and Nick Demeria. Geroulis will deejay during the event, while Demeria, a rapper, will incorporate beats Steven Marin had composed into his performance.
“These kids are so enthusiastic about this and so happy to be doing this,” April Marin said. “It’s making my heart happy. They come in [to plan the event], they’re hugging me and smiling. I just can’t say how impressed I am with their enthusiasm.”
The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Village Church United Church of Christ, 1150 Meadowcrest Road. Mattone Restaurant will donate food, and the event will include non-alcoholic drinks.
Donations will be collected at the door and will be split among the three music groups performing and two nonprofits that will be represented: The Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization, which supports families of heroin overdose victims and conducts drug abuse education; and Wake the Nation, a movement against heroin use started by a Western Springs resident whose boyfriend died from a heroin overdose.
“This is the night that Steven would have turned 21,” April Marin said. “It will be [bittersweet], but I really think we need to celebrate his spirit and his passions.”
For more information, or to assist with the event, call April Marin at 708-822-1604.
• 7 p.m. DJ Tim
• 7:45 Wake the Nation - Cassandra Wingert
• 8 Pause & Reflect
• 8:45 HERO - John Roberts
• 9 Rhythm & Flow
• 9:45 LTM - Felicia Micelli
• 10 Aim...Enemies
• 10:45 closing.