Friends and family of Darion Einsig have been grappling with how to honor him since the day he passed away after a suspected heroin overdose in February.
Einsig, who was 22, grew up in Berks County. He was an accomplished athlete, an avid climber, and, perhaps his most proud accomplishment, a doting father.
People who loved Einsig have come together around Grayson, Einsig’s one-year-old son.
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On a Sunday in July, Einsig’s friends will take another step to make Grayson’s future that much stronger, while also hoping to make a difference in their community.
“I just seem to be continually surprised and in awe of what people want to do,” Einsig’s mother, Kim Beck Einsig said, “truly, truly amazing across the board.”
Stephen Foster, a former friend of Einsig, got the initial idea for a golf fundraiser that would benefit Grayson’s college fund after a club he was involved with hosted a similar event. Then, with the help of other friends, the plan began to take shape.
“Grayson has brought a lot of us together,” Emily Larson, another of the organizers, said. “He’s carrying Darion’s legacy on, so we want Grayson to know how loved his dad was.”
Larson says that, for her, the event will hopefully serve as a talking point, too.
“At this day and age I think everybody knows somebody who is involved with addiction or battling addiction,” Larson said.
Foster says he hopes the event will not only raise money for Grayson, but will also be something that can serve the community as a whole.
“In the past year or so there’s been a lot of talk in the news about substance abuse,” Foster said. “A lot of people are affected by it especially in our community. So if we can have an event where it raises awareness for addiction as well as helping out Grayson, that’d be great.”
The friends say this is a way of not just helping Grayson and raising awareness of addiction, but also a way of remembering their lost friend.
“I miss him all the time,” Bryn O’Reilly, another organizer, said of Einsig. “It’s definitely been hard.”
Although the purpose behind the event is bittersweet, Beck Einsig says she’s amazed by the outpouring of support for her family and her grandson.
“It’s hard to put words down when somebody wants to do something like this for you,” Beck Einsig said. “It’s almost surreal. It’s touching, but also why it has to be done is heartbreaking.”
The event will be hosted on Sunday, July 16 from 1:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The fundraiser will be open to the public, and participants can create teams using the event flyer. All proceeds will benefit Grayson's educational fund.
NBC10’s Digital Team spent nearly six months investigating the issue of opioid addiction in the Philadelphia region and beyond. They discovered a generation of addicted people and a public health and law enforcement system ill-equipped to save them. Lean more about "Generation Addicted."