Lexington group starts new initiative along Newtown Pike to honor current, former and recovering addicts

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Posted at 7:43 PM, Aug 11, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — When you drive down Newtown Pike near downtown Lexington, you are going to see something new.

It's a purple fence with dozens of locks attached. Each one represents a loved one who, at some point, battled with addiction.

The first locks were put up at the Locks for Addiction on Wednesday afternoon. Karen Sparks remembers when she lost her son, Jonathan, about six years ago.

"Got a phone call and I was that mom who said 'not my son. My son wouldn't do that,'" Sparks said. "But he did. So it can happen to anyone."

Still to this day, it's a feeling that she says never goes away.

"Anything that we can do to try and help some other family from going through this torture that we go through," Sparks said. "Because it is torture. It never goes away."

Pam Stamper put up the first lock in honor of her son, Chelis, who passed away seven years ago from addiction. He was just 29 years old. Stamper helped start the locks initiative.

"Keep their name alive," she said. "Keep the public knowing what's going on out here with our children."

It's a community initiative. A lock can go on the fence in honor of someone who has struggled.

"It's for the public for anyone in recovery, that's in addiction, or lost anyone to addiction, to feel free to stop by and put a lock on this fence at any given time," Stamper says.

It can certainly help those trying to get clean too.

"Maybe they're in recovery and maybe this will encourage them to keep on trying," Sparks says.

The purple fence is along Newtown Pike near the intersection with Main Street towards downtown Lexington.