Supporters of IFLA gather to remember the organization’s namesake while looking to helping others.
By Mary O’KEEFE
On June 30, The Chace Taylor Malone Impact Foundation Los Angeles (IFLA) held a ribbon cutting where a tree was planted in memory of Chace, for whom the Foundation was formed. The event was held at Montrose Park and community members, elected official representatives and organizations all showed their support of this year-old organization.
IFLA has its roots in the tragic loss of Chace Malone Taylor, who was 27 years old when he died of substance abuse in January 2021.
Sometimes the best way to heal is to help others and that is what Chace’s parents, Victoria and Michael, and his friends wanted to do. They wanted to be the place those who need help could reach out to and receive non-judgmental guidance to a healthy return from the brink of despair.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released information that shows how prevalent substance abuse is and what a huge role fentanyl plays. According to the CDC, there were 109,000 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. from February 2021 to February 2022. Two-thirds Two thirds of those deaths can be linked to fentanyl and one third was due to methamphetamine and other psychostimulants (sympathomimetic drugs including cocaine).
“Chace had struggles with anxiety and depression, which also led to substance abuse for many years,” according to the IFLA website.
The IFLA is based on the concept of being a place with a holistic approach that helps the entire person, not just their addiction, and creating a path away from the one the person is on and helping him/her with a healthy path forward. IFLA does this by helping to navigate the red tape typically found in getting help and coping with the overwhelming stress that often accompanies finding assistance.
IFLA president Jerry Butt, who also was a friend of Chace’s, said that although he may be the president and there are others on the board it was Victoria’s constant work that pushed the Foundation forward.
“To see this turnout for IFLA really means so much and shows we are starting off in the best direction with the best people in our corner,” he told the audience at the ribbon cutting. “Our goal is to create outlets for those suffering in our community so that they know where they can turn for help, know who they can talk to for guidance and support and to know they are not alone.”
He added his hope is that, through IFLA’s example, other communities can do something to help those struggling with addiction and mental health issues in today’s society.
He spoke about being back at Montrose Park where he and Chace formed a strong brotherhood as they played baseball.
“[There was] a belongingness of truly not having a care in the world other than hitting that ball as far as you could in front of your friends and parents,” he said.
Montrose Park is a special place for Chace’s friends and the tree that was planted will be not only a reminder of their friend but of IFLA’s mission to help others.