Coroner’s Ball returns to support survivor services in Summit County |

Coroner’s Ball returns to support survivor services in Summit County

"Nightmare at the Museum" delighted and haunted residents of Summit County on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. This Saturday will be the first time that the Coroner's Ball returns to Summit County because of the pandemic.
Liz Copan / Summit Daily archive

The Coroner’s Ball will welcome community members on Saturday to an event fit for a Ghouls & Goblins’ Night Out.

This weekend will be the first time that the Coroner’s Ball will be held since 2019, and event organizer Gail Marshall — who manages special projects for Survivor Support Services — said that she hopes Summit County residents come out to support the program.

Starting at 6 p.m. at 10 Mile Music Hall in Frisco, guests can enjoy a multitude of Halloween activities, such as a costume contest, live music and more. Marshall said she hopes that attendees can learn more about Survivor Support Services and the resources they provide to the community — both locals and visitors.

“It’s a chance to kind of let our hair down and get to know people, and you’ll see that they’re not some kind of ghouls or goblins even though we’re calling the event Ghouls and Goblins Night Out,” Marshall said. “We’re just regular people that care.”

Survivor Support Services staff provide services for those affected by a death, including family, friends and roommates. This can include emotional support, financial assistance for burials, advocacy, help with paperwork and referrals for other types of assistance.

Coroner Regan Wood said that for every call that the Summit County Coroner’s Office receives, anywhere from two to seven people need support services after the death of a loved one. 

“For example, if someone is visiting and has a heart attack, we will help (survivors) go through the next steps that they will have to do,” Marshall added. “We work hand in hand with the coroner, but often we get meals for the person. If they don’t have the right clothing, we get clothing or help them with communication and transportation. Often, we ship the personal belongings back to their home. We are trying to once again start a burial assistance program, which would be more for locals.”

Wood said the Survivor Support Services staff members allow those who are grieving to have easier access to resources. She said that the Coroner’s Office is always looking for more people to help families during difficult times after a death occurs beyond just body removal services.

EMTs, firefighters and law enforcement get into the Coroner’s Ball free and receive a free beer with a work ID. 

“That’s our way of showing kind of support for everybody because usually (the Coroner’s Office employees are) the last responders, but Fire, EMS (and) everyone else is gone,” Wood said. “Law enforcement secures the scene, and so we don’t really get to have any follow up or closure with all these people — or thank them or anything. It’s onto the next case. Everybody’s busy. The Coroner’s Ball is a way to thank all of our local frontline people.”

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