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Blount County memorial tree to honor overdose victims

Tim Webb lost his daughter to an overdose in 2018. This year, he helped create the tree to honor her and all the other lives lost too soon.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — For Tim Webb, the holidays can be tough. His daughter Brooke overdosed after using fentanyl-laced heroin last May.

"Brooke was a very strong girl, very, very active in church," Webb said. "She got addicted to opioids by prescription."

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This year, he helped create a memorial tree in Blount County to remember his daughter and all the other lives taken too soon. 

In 2018, the Blount County Sheriff's Office, Maryville Police Department and Alcoa Police Department responded to 120 overdose calls. 

Sixteen of them were fatal. 

"Drugs... they don't discriminate," Webb said. "It's hard to deal with but I'm just hoping something good can come out of it."

Jan McCoy, a community advocate who lost her son Dane to an overdose in 2014, helped organize everything for the tree.

"We all have to do something. I mean, I can't do it all and Tim can't do it all," McCoy said. "But, we can do our part and bringing awareness is our part because it happened to us."

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She placed a snowman ornament with her son's name carefully written on the top. The snowman is holding a football, just like her son would.

"This reminded me of him," she said. "We all had a different ornament that may mean something to us."

McCoy said she is looking forward to the different efforts coming to Blount County that will help people overcome their addictions. 

In the meantime, both she and Tim Webb will continue advocating for their community.

"All I want to do is make a difference," Webb said. "Any way, any where, any time."

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