PITTSTON – When Katrina Gentner’s brother passed away on Jan. 14, 2022, from a drug overdose, she knew she needed to do something to provide people with addiction the proper resources of information or advice to the road to recovery.
Christopher Gentner, Katrina’s brother, was 42 years old when he succumbed to an overdose. He left two daughters, Aliyah and Kirah, parents, brothers and sisters, a stepbrother, several nieces and nephews in the wake of his loss. His son, Christopher, passed away in June of 2018 due to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 16.
Katrina, along with the rest of her family, are committed to spread the word – recovery is always possible. She knows firsthand the benefits of recovery, being a former addict.
“For me, being the addicted person, when I was out there, I really didn’t have any hope of getting sober,” Katrina said. “There were no resources out there to say ‘guys, this is possible for you.’ It was all people looking down at you saying you’re destined to die this way. I actually found recovery and I just want to help other people find hope in that way. “
In order to help others, Katrina and her family created a non-profit organization called Our Brother’s Keepers Foundation in honor of Christopher.
The foundation will have an official event on Saturday, May 14, at Jefferson Park, 99 Cornelia St., Pittston, where Katrina is asking for volunteers to get out to the park to help with a clean up.
She’s asking all volunteers report to the former Quinn’s parking lot at 11 am on May 14 to meet up and organize before going to Jefferson Park.
Once at the park, the City of Pittston is giving a helping hand by providing materials for the clean up.
The clean up effort is in part to clean up the park but also to prepare it for the following weekend, Saturday, May 21, when the foundation will be holding the First Annual Pittston Alcoholism and Addiction Awareness Family Event.
It will be hosted by Our Brother’s Keepers Foundation beginning at 1 pm There will be a dunk tank on site as well as face painting, 50/50 raffles, games, free food and more.
Rachael Wydra of the PA Dept. of Health Resources and Information will be on hand to give a presentation on Narcan and to give out free Narcan kits while supplies last.
For further questions, contact Katrina Gentner on Facebook or 570-921-4391 after 9 am
The next foundation event will be a kid’s dance for children with family or friends with addiction issues in August, according to Katrina. The date, time and location will be announced in the near future.
All proceeds from the First Annual Pittston Alcoholism and Addiction Awareness Family Event will go towards putting on the kid’s dance.