On Saturday, September 21, members of the Northern Berkshire community will gather to remember those lost, learn about resources, and celebrate recovery from addiction with hope for the future.

The Beacon Recovery Community Center (BRCC), a program of Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC), will host the annual Voices for Recovery event from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The event will be centered at Colegrove Park and will include a recovery walk through downtown North Adams.

The theme of the event, “Together We Are Stronger” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks across our community and across the country to support the many paths to recovery. It reminds everyone that mental and substance use disorders affect all of us and that we are all part of the solution

The event will include informational tables representing recovery services and providers including Spectrum Health, The Brien Center, SaVida Health, Tapestry, Narcotics Anonymous, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative, Al Anon, Head Start, Berkshire AHEC, Learn to Cope, and Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life. Members of the community will have an opportunity to create remembrance stars for those who lost their lives due to overdose.

Please bring your thoughts, and a picture, if you wish, small enough to fit on a 5” star.   There will be family activities and music, with brief words from State Representative John Barrett III, North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard, Pastor Dave Anderson, and members of the community. T-shirts will be available for purchase.

In a press release  Mayor Bernard said:

The rally and vigil is a way we can share our strength with those in our community who are struggling with mental and substance use disorders, affirming the difficult work of those following their unique recovery and support those who have lost friends, family members, colleagues, or neighbors, Sharing our strength helps break down barriers and overcome stigma. And when we say ‘Together we are stronger,’ we are affirming that we all have a role to play in supporting recovery and building community.

 

Following remarks, participants will walk down Main Street from Colegrove Park to City Hall for a brief standout. Main Street will be lined with signs posting information about substance use disorder, recovery services, and celebrating recovery.

 

Following the walk, participants will hear from speakers including Gary Pratt from Smash the Stigma, speaking about his recovery and overcoming stigma.

Alex, a member of the BRCC community will talk about the peaks and valleys of recovery and how a combination of 12 Step and All Recovery Meetings support his path. Lisa Kirby, an Episcopal Deacon,  will discuss her long term recovery and the role of faith. And a young woman from Pittsfield, Brooke, will talk about the challenges of recovering from substance misuse, along with mental illness

. Pastor Dave Anderson will lead a panel to demonstrate the common themes the speakers shared in their multiple pathways to recovery. The event will conclude with a unity ceremony, led by Reverend Mary Frances Curns.

For more information, including t-shirts for the event, visit www.nbccoalition.org.

 

The theme of the event, "Together We Are Stronger".