Remembering Manny Chavez

(ABC 6 News) – Across the country, the opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives. In 2021 alone, more than 80,000 people died as a result of an opioid epidemic.

It’s the same story in southeast Minnesota, with overdoses on the rise in Olmsted and Freeborn Counties. One life lost was that of Manny Chavez of Albert Lea.

On Friday, a group of family and friends held a memorial at the Albert Lea skatepark to celebrate Manny’s life.

“This was his comfort place, so it was comforting for us a family to be here in a place that made him so happy.” said Marissa Leonard, Manny’s oldest sister.

Certified councilors where also there to help spread awareness of the danger of opioids, and offering emergency overdose free response kits.

Pastor G tells ABC 6 that they will continue “Manny’s Mission” by hosting monthly events at their church.