BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)–The Circle of Hope monument in Tuckahoe Park in Altoona received lighting upgrades on Tuesday, July 26 after a vandalism attempt.
The upgrades come after it was vandalized back in June.
The non-profit Families United for Change started the area in 2020. The area features a human statue, benches, and multiple messages about hope. Th area is dedicated to help those battling or recovering from addictions or loved ones who lost someone to addiction.
Coordinator of Families United for Change Marianna Sinisi started the cause to honor her son, who passed away in 2019 from an overdose. The group’s purpose is to provide support for anyone involved with addiction and eliminate the addiction stigma.
The vandals bent the monument and damaged the light fixtures. In addition, they tried to remove the bush, located beside the statue, from the the ground.
Brent Cogan Electrical Services installed a solar lighting panel for free Tuesday morning, which will be permanent compared to what they had previously. Sinisi said she was touched by the gesture and is grateful that Brent offered to install it.
“It is a nice safe space, and I can only see it bringing good to the community,” Sinisi said. “For Brent to help light it up again for me is nice coming by at night and seeing it. I can’t see anything wrong with those three words whether it’s daytime, nighttime what a positive message to give our community.”
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After the lighting is installed, the monument is closer to returning to normal.