A special evening was held on Saturday, November 11 at a private estate on Palm Island, Florida. Priscilla Presley was honored at Victoria’s Voice Foundation Music for Life Gala headlined by the “Godmother of Soul” Patti LaBelle. Presley, a businesswoman, actress, author and executive producer of the critically-acclaimed biopic, Priscilla, received the award from Jackie Siegel, the co-founder of Victoria’s Voice, in front of nearly 300 attendees.
The “Evening to Save Lives” raised funds to combat the opioid overdose crisis that continues to devastate families and communities nationwide. Named after their daughter who died at the age of 18 from an accidental drug overdose, Jackie and her husband, David, subjects of the 2012 documentary, Queen of Versailles, established Victoria’s Voice as a national platform to educate and provide the necessary tools for parents and families to prevent addiction and overdose deaths.
The granting of this — the Victoria’s Voice Legacy Award which honors individuals who embody courage and grace in the face of ineffable grief — was especially poignant for Siegel: “I am incredibly honored as a mother to be able to present such a distinguished award and be there for Priscilla Presley in the wake of the loss of both her daughter and grandson and her family’s struggle with drug addiction. It meant so much more to me as a mother who lost a daughter — as a mourning mother — to be there for her.”
“Throughout my life I have seen firsthand how drugs devastate families. This award inspires me to continue advocating for those impacted by addiction and those who live every day in fear that their loved ones will be taken from them,” said Presley. “I am incredibly moved by how David and Jackie have turned their painful loss into a force for good and giving back. I salute everyone involved with Victoria’s Voice and I share this award with all of you.”
Presley, ex-wife of Elvis Presley and the mother of the late Lisa Marie Presley, attended the event with her son, Navarone Garibaldi Garcia, who had also struggled with drugs and opioids.
In addition, Interval International, a timeshare exchange company and a founding donor of Victoria’s Voice, received the Corporate Hero Award with its Vice President of Business Development, Jay Wilson, accepting the award on its behalf.
The Music for Life Gala kicked off with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a live auction, dancing and a special performance by LaBelle, who sang several of her greatest hits from her storied, seven-decade-long career. Up and coming musical artist, Victoria Dennis, also sang a song she wrote that was inspired by excerpts from Victoria Siegel’s diary. The evening’s co-emcees were NFL Super Bowl champion, Fred Stokes and Beauty for Good Ambassador, Robin Brock.
Established only four years ago, Victoria’s Voice Foundation’s achievements are already notable. This year, it secured a federal resolution designating June 6, the day of Victoria’s passing, as National Naloxone Awareness Day. Naloxone (sold as Narcan) is a life-saving nasal spray that can reverse an overdose from opioids —including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioid medications —when given in time. It is safe and easy to use, restoring breathing and consciousness within minutes of being administered.
The Siegels believe that if medical personnel attending to their daughter had been equipped with naloxone, Victoria’s life would have been saved. They were also instrumental in getting the drug approved as an over-the-counter medication. Naloxone is now even available for free in some state-run health departments.
Moreover, the foundation was actively involved in getting police officers in Florida and several other states to carry the drug while on duty.
The outreach efforts don’t stop there. The Get. Give. Save movement is an ambitious year-long naloxone awareness campaign to educate the public about the availability, safety and efficacy of opioid reversal medications. Since its founding, Victoria’s Voice has reached nearly one million parents and children through its education programs.
The fight against opioid addiction has never been more pressing. Here are some sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control: more than 110,000 Americans died of a drug overdose between May 2022 and May 2023; Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for all Americans 18-45; children 14 and younger are the fastest-growing demographic dying from fentanyl poisoning today; the number of adolescent children who died of fentanyl-related poisoning nearly tripled from 2019 to 2021. And nearly a quarter of those deaths involved counterfeit pills.
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