Thursday, September 26, 2013


RECOVERY WALKS! 2013 DRAWS CROWD OF 20,000Believed to be the largest gathering ever in support of recovery from addiction PHILADELPHIA, Pa.— Sept. 26, 2013 — Once again, PRO-ACT’s annual Recovery Walks! event broke all attendance records. Estimated at more than 20,000 strong, the crowd at Penn’s Landing on Sept. 21 was the largest ever assembled to celebrate and support recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol. “Each year, more and more people come out to put a face on recovery,” said Beverly Haberle, executive director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, whichhosts PRO-ACT. “They show that recovery is possible—and that people in recovery surround us in all walks of life. This event also gets tremendous support, not just from people in recovery, but from family, friends and other allies of the recovery community.” The crowd included 159 honor guards who wore purple sashes, each representing adecade or more of successful recovery. Collectively the honor guard had 2,648 years of recovery. They led the crowd from Penn’s Landing through Old City and back. It was a colorful scene. A rainbow of teams in matching T-shirts walked to celebrate their own recovery, to encourage others and to remember those lost to the disease of addiction. The 12 Step Fighters Team earned the prize for collecting the most donations, with a total of $2,445. Team Captain Christina Reice, of Barto, Pa., will throw out the first pitch at next year’s annual Recovery Works Philadelphia Phillies game. The NJ Buses Team, led by Rob Lightfoot of the New Jersey Prevention Network inLakewood, N.J., was the largest team, with 468 participants. Steve Highsmith, host of NBC10@Issue and news anchor at PHL17 was the master of ceremonies for the stage program following the walk. Speakers included Benjamin B. Tucker, deputy director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy; Arthur C. Evans, Ph.D., director of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS); and Debra M. Browning, training coordinator, and Cheryl Dondero, deputy secretary, of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Theprogram also recognized legislators and others whose work has directly or indirectly supported the recovery community through support for Medicaid expansion, restoration of General Assistance and prevention of predatory Pay Day Lending legislation. Among the highlights of the stage program were performances by Mark Dixon and Ronald Davis, the finalists in the Recovery Idol competition organized by DBHIDS. The performers were backed by the DL & the Zone Band, featuring Doug Lyons, Ray Williams, Brett Jolly and Shirley Light. At the end of the program, DerrickFord, host of Recovery Talk 101 on WURD 900 AM and DBHIDS community liaison, presented the Recovery Idol trophy to Mark Dixon for his performance of Luther Vandross’s “Super Star”. Dixon, 47, of Philadelphia, has eight months in recovery. As Recovery Idol winner, he will also receive studio time to record. Recovery Walks! is one of several events that The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania and PRO-ACT held as part of Recovery Month, a national initiative sponsored by SAMHSA, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The event is a fundraiser to support PRO-ACT’s prevention, advocacy and recovery support services. For more information, call215-345-6644, visitwww.recoverywalks.orgor follow on Twitter @recoverywalks. About The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc. is a private nonprofit prevention, education, advocacy, and intervention organization, providing a wide range of services to families, schools, businesses, individuals, and the community. Founded in 1975, The Council serves the Southeast region of Pennsylvania and is a member of a nationwide network of National Council on Alcoholism and DrugDependence Affiliates. The Council has offices and Recovery Community Centers in Doylestown, New Britain, Bristol, and Philadelphia. For help with alcohol, tobacco or other substances, or for information on the disease of alcoholism and addiction, call 800-221-6333, toll-free, 24-hours a day. For more information, About PRO-ACTPRO-ACT is the regional nonprofit organization working to mobilize and rally individuals in recovery from addiction, as well as their families, friends and allies in a campaign to end discrimination, broaden social understanding and achieve a just response to addiction as a public health crisis. About Recovery MonthThe observance of Recovery Month, which takes place each September, raises awareness of mental and/or substance use disorders, celebrates individuals in long-term recovery and acknowledges the work of prevention, treatment and recovery service providers. Each September and throughout the year, Recovery Month encourages communities nationwide to spread the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can recover from mental and/or substance use disorders.  # # # NOTE TO EDITORS: Additional photographs available on request. CAPTION FOR IMAGE Recovery Walks 2013 crowd.jpgRecovery Walks! 2013 drew a crowd of more than 20,000 individuals in recovery, family members, friends and allies of the recovery community. The event, which took place at Penn’s Landing on Sept. 21, is believed to be the largest gathering ever assembled in support of recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol.Credit: Marita O’Connell/The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc./PRO-ACT CAPTION FOR IMAGE Legislative Award Winners.jpgAt Recovery Walks! 2013, PRO-ACT recognized several legislators for their support of Medicaid expansion. Pictured here, left to right, are Pa. Rep. Gene DiGirolama, Dist. 18; AllenMcQuarrie, PRO-ACT; Pa. Sen. Shirley M. Kitchen, Dist. 3; Pa. Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Dist. 7; and Skip Carroll, PRO-ACT.Credit: Mike Browna/Philadelphia Photo League CAPTION FOR IMAGE Award Winners.jpgAt Recovery Walks! 2013, PRO-ACT presented advocacy awards to Nancy Morrill, chair, Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition; Antoinette Kraus, director, Pennsylvania Health Advocacy Network; Michael Froelich, managing attorney, Community Legal Services; Robin Stelly, community organizer, Keystone Progress, Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition; and Kerry Smith, staff attorney, Community Legal Services. At far right is Allen McQuarrie, PRO-ACT. Not pictured are Athena Ford, director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network; and Tam St. Claire, chair, Health Care Subcommittee, Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition.Credit: Mike Browna/Philadelphia Photo League 

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