The Hunks of Honesdale pose to fight opioid addiction

The calendar may be lighthearted, but the epidemic is deadly serious

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  • Kate Rossini holds the calendar started off by "Mr. March," Shane Richard, pictured left (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Paul DePaoli, "Mr. June," is a retired executive happy spending his days helping his father-in-law at Clearfield Farms raising and selling eggs, locally raised beef, port and chicken, in addition to animal feed. He’s an avid outdoorsman and a body builder too. He enjoyed a cold one at KC Pepper Bar & Grille. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Michael Jefferson (left) is “Mr. November,” and Travis Rivera of Black & Brass (right) is “Mr. August.” (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Christa Marocco, Aaron and Fallyn Rossignol came to KC Pepper’s for cocktails. Both ladies declared Aaron a definite hunk, even though he was not in the calendar (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Jeff Roberts (back, left) and Kevin McGinnis (front) (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Gerald Margraf, “Mr. January,” founder of the Wayne County Heroin Prevention Task Force, is pictured with Katie Rossini and one of the two hunks featured in December (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Larissa Margraf, the wife of “Mr. January,” Gregory Margraf, with her very own hunk (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

By Frances Ruth Harris

— The Hunks of Honesdale are baring (almost) all to fight the opioid crisis.

Thirteen great-looking guys stepped up to pose for a 2018 calendar that supports the Wayne County Heroin Prevention Task Force.

The back of the calendar says it's "brought to you by the fun-loving folks at the KC Pepper Bar & Grille and Lake Wanda Resort. While this calendar is lighthearted and fun, the heroin epidemic is very serious and unfortunately hits very close to home for all of us here at this establishment. If you need help or someone you know needs help, please reach out. You are not alone. There is no shame in addiction."

All proceeds from the calendar benefit the task force.

Katie Rossini of KC Pepper said the idea came about when one of the hunks, "Mr. March," Shane Richard, had taken some photos of himself just for a laugh. Then came the idea to put together a calendar — not just for the restaurant.

"We decided to expand it to include other businesses in town and donate all proceeds to charity," Rossini said.

The Honesdale Hunks represent their businesses and other charities. It's a real community effort, with local businesses donating time and money to fight the drug epidemic locally.

"Unfortunately, the heroin epidemic touches everyone in this town," said Rossini. "We are a small tight-knit community, so the struggles of some are often felt by all in Honesdale. We hope this calendar helps raise some funds for the local task force, along with raising awareness of the issue."

Calendars may be found for $10 at the KC Pepper Bar and Grille, Black and Brass Coffee Shop, The Alleyway Eatery, and The Twisted Rail Tavern, all located in Honesdale.

A task force is bornThe task force had its beginning in August 2015. Gerald Margraf said he'd finally heard and saw enough — the lives lost, the criminal convictions, and other miseries. He said he didn't see anything being done on a big enough scale to combat the problem.

Margraf said he lost one of his best friends to heroin after the friend's long battle with prescription opioids. Margraf didn't even know what was going on with his friend, and had no idea his friend was using opioids at an addictive level. If only he had known what to look for, the signs and symptoms, maybe, just maybe, he could have helped his friend before it was too late, he said.

His idea brought him to a breakfast meeting with the Wayne County District Attorney, Janine Edwards, also a good friend of his. He let her know his intention to start a public task force against heroin. He got her blessing.

Margraf also worked hand-in-hand with law enforcement and drug task force detectives. He formed a public group on Facebook, the Wayne County Heroin Prevention Task Force, that he wants everyone to join:

The page carried word of a public meeting at the Wayne County Visitors Center in Honesdale.

"Much to my surprise, we drew out around 90 people, with the crowd flowing out into the parking lot," said Margraf.

Since then, the group has made leaps and bounds — becoming an official non-profit that travels Wayne County and surrounding counties teaching education and prevention to the general public.

The task force's Drug Tool Board shows some common items associated with those with addiction beyond the stereotypical needle and spoon that you see in the movies. The group also offers Narcan training and certification, providing free overdose reversal kits to help prevent the loss of life due to heroin addiction.

"Unfortunately the issue is real, so however we can help our community, we are happy to do so," said Rossini.

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