2100 Panther Path, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742  |  (732) 701-1900  
Music festival aims to raise awareness of opioid epidemic
First Annual Rock for Awareness Festival to feature live music, food trucks, and vendors along
with wellness and recovery organizations to raise awareness and funds to combat addiction

Rock for Awareness


WHEN:          Saturday, September 29, 2017; 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE:        Community Park, 2255 Bridge Avenue, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Recent estimates place the number of Americans illicitly using opioids at 4 million, with 2.5 million addicted. The numbers are climbing and the consequences have been devastating.

The Drug Enforcement Agency announced in 2015 that for the first-time drug overdoses surpassed motor vehicle deaths as the leading cause of accidental death in the country. More than half of the 55,403 lethal drug overdoses reported that year was caused by prescription opioids and heroin – a five-fold increase since 2002. And in New Jersey, the statistics are even more alarming.

At 8.3 deaths per 100,000 people, the rate of overdose deaths in the Garden State is more than three times the national average. And that number doesn’t even account for fatal overdoses caused by prescription opioids.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control report, heroin now eclipses homicide, suicide, car accidents and AIDS as the leading cause of death in New Jersey.

These statistics have become all too familiar to Point Pleasant residents Tom and Kerry Hudanish who in November 2016 lost their son Nicholas to a heroin overdose.

To honor the memory of their son and others who have lost the fight against addiction, the Hudanish’s established the Nicholas Hudanish Foundation. The Foundation aims to raise awareness for and improve understanding of the epidemic of addiction; strives to develop and sustain substance abuse prevention and behavioral health co-educational programs and outreaches, and seeks to empower teens to lead drug-free lives. 

On Sept. 29, the Foundation will host the First Annual Rock for Awareness Festival at Point Pleasant’s Community Park. The free, daylong Festival begins at 12 pm and will feature live music, food trucks and vendors along with local health & wellness agencies including Prevention First, 2nd Floor, Harbor House, the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide among others.

Live performances by the Surge and The Nerds!

Event proceeds will be used for the implementation of behavioral health and anti-addiction educational programs.


The Nicholas Hudanish Foundation was established to honor the memory of Nicholas Hudanish, who lost his fight against the disease of addiction in November 2016. Nick was an intelligent, kind, creative and talented young man whose promising life was cut short by drugs. In memory of Nicholas, and to prevent addiction from claiming more young lives, the Nicholas Hudanish Foundation is focused on the provision of drug and behavioral health educational programming to local schools and youth organizations.

The vision of the Nicholas Hudanish Foundation is of a world where young people are equipped with the knowledge and awareness to make informed, healthy and wise decisions to protect themselves and their families from experiencing the devastating effects of addiction.

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