About 60 people gathered Friday evening at Owen Park in Vineyard Haven for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Islanders lost to heroin and opioid overdoses.

Held in conjunction with other events around the world, as part of International Overdose Awareness Day, the vigil was organized by Dolores Borza of Oak Bluffs, who recently lost a friend to addiction. On a windy night when it was difficult to keep candles aflame, she had no difficulty articulating the reason for the event.

Father Chip Seadale delivered a somber prayer. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“There are a lot of factors that make up this whole addiction disease,” Ms. Borza said. “As many groups that can get together and bring awareness, and maybe show that it’s okay to come forward, all we want to do is help you, we don’t want to shame you. We’ve got to get rid of that stigma.”

Island social service organizations set up tables offering information and resources, including Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, which offers an array of services and programs to help people suffering from addiction, and Learn2Cope, a chapter of the support network for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to drugs.

Some who came posted a picture of lost loved ones on a poster propped in the corner of the Owen Park bandstand and wrote their names in a book, which were later read as part of a prayer offered by the Rev. Vincent (Chip) Seadale of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edgartown.

“On this beautiful night, surrounded by nature’s great beauty, and so many caring and beautiful people, we come together to do something very, very hard,” Father Seadale said in his prayer. “We are here to remember those special people, people we’ve loved, who have died far too soon, from chemical overdose. It is by acts such as these, gathering together, spending time with each other, and remembering them, that we honor them.”