Local nonprofit brings attention to fentanyl crisis at baseball game

NOW: Local nonprofit brings attention to fentanyl crisis at baseball game

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Waukesha County Health and Human Services partnered up with the Lake Country Dockhounds this past weekend to raise awareness about the opioid crisis impacting our hometowns.

More than 3,000 baseball fans in Oconomowoc participated in a "Twist & Shout" challenge during the Lake Country Dockhounds fifth inning Saturday evening. 

"The world record was permanently set at 3,041 and that night, we did have 3,089 attending," said Lauri Badura. "We're still counting how many people actually stood and participated."

Lou Kowieski came up with the idea to help Badura's nonprofit spread awareness on the opioid crisis -- specifically fentanyl.

"It's having fun and making that memory connect to an event that'll save somebody's life," said Kowieski. 

Badura started the organization known as "SOFA" or "Saving Others for Archie," after her eldest son died of an overdose in 2014.

"Archie was only 19 years old and he did not want to die," Badura explained.

Badura also trademarked "Fentanyl, America's New 'F' Word" campaign.

"In 2018 in the state of Wisconsin, there were 50 overdoses related to fentanyl, four years later, there were over 550" said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow.

On Aug. 1, 2022, Farrow declared a fentanyl emergency in the county.

Everyone at the game watched a two-minute-long educational video provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. This was an attempt to create a new Guinness World Record for "Largest Educational Group Training on How to Administer Narcan."

Badura told CBS 58 News she believes everyone at the game is now certified to use Narcan to save someone's life.

Her youngest son, 26-year-old Augie, threw out the first pitch Saturday in honor of his brother's memory.

Badura added that continuing to educate communities is key.

"Working together as a community and coming together, and not being afraid to speak about this, there's so many families that are struggling and I say to more people if you do need help, there's help out there," Badura said.

About 200 "SOFA Hope" bags were handed out at the end of the game (containing fentanyl test strips, a Wisconsin Harley Davidson t-shirt with a SOFA HOPE Archie wristband, an EVANS Transportation stress truck, Deterra Drug Deactivation disposal pouch and more).

Check out SOFA's remaining events of the year, here.

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