Coming together

Jillian’s Angelic Dreams Concert will help in the fight against opioid addiction

Jillian Slatas died of a fentanyl overdose at age 26. Her family is hosting a fundraiser to rally the community around mental health and substance use disorder awareness. Courtesy Alan Slatas.

Alan and Devin Slatas, longtime seasonal Islanders, invite the Island community to rally together to fight the fight against opioid addiction in memory of their beloved daughter and sister, Jillian, who died of a fentanyl overdose on Nov. 12, 2017, at 26 years old. 

Jillian’s Angelic Dreams Concert is on Sunday, July 28, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. It’s an evening of R&B featuring headliners Deborah Cox and Ben Taylor, with Alyson Williams, Clayton Bryant, Nanauwe Vanderhoop, and the Ashford & Simpson Sugar Bear Band. 

The evening kicks off at 5:30 pm, with a VIP reception featuring bites by the Black Dog Tavern, Atria, State Road, M.V. Chowder Co., the Chilmark Tavern, the Outermost Inn, Red Cat Kitchen, and dessert by Orange Peel Bakery and Scottish Bakehouse. Enjoy Mondavi wines with Giovanna Mondavi herself, plus Hiatus Tequila, and a beer sponsor that will be announced soon.

Jason Flom of Lava Records will host the evening. He’ll be auctioning off items starting at 7 pm. Featured items include a round of golf with professional golfer Jack Nicklaus, an audition with Jason Flom, a sail on the Black Dog’s Alabama, with dinner at the Black Dog Tavern, and round-trip tickets on Cape Air. There will also be a raffle basket with coupons from Eisenhauer Gallery, Cottles, L’Etoile, Claudia’s jewelry, and more. “There must be about 20 Island businesses that donated to the raffle,” Slatas said. 

Doors open at 7:30 pm, and the music starts at 8. 

Alan Slatas shared his story with The Times in June, and says the evening is about bringing the community together.

“People have stopped me to say, ‘I’m sorry about your loss,’ and then they share their story with me, their pain. It’s something that’s affecting everyone,” Slatas said of the opioid epidemic. “This is about bringing the community together to evoke change.” 

Slatas hopes to change the way people look at others struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. He also hopes to engage a broader understanding of alternative treatment options outside a 12-step program. “That’s not working,” Slatas said. “Jillian was pretty adamant she wanted to find something else. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything for her, but we’re hoping we can help others.” 

Proceeds from Jillan’s Angelic Dreams Concert will benefit Gosnold Treatment Center in Falmouth, as well as Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. General admission tickets are $50, and VIP tickets are $150. Tickets are available online at ticketsmv.com, Citrine x Trust at 9 Main St. in Vineyard Haven, and Alley’s General Store at 1045 State Rd. in West Tisbury. 

For more information on Jillian’s Angelic Dreams, or to make a donation, visit thejillianfoundation.org.