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Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery
Story Number is : 100316119
The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition

On Saturday, September 24, two local organizations are joining together with the City of North Adams to raise awareness about addiction, substance abuse, and recovery resources in our region. Josh Bressette Commit to Save A Life and the Rx/Heroin Work Group of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) are holding the Voices for Recovery Rally, Walk and Vigil from 1-5PM. The rally and vigil will be centered at Noel Field, with a Recovery Walk through downtown North Adams.

The event will include informational tables representing the recovery services community such as Learn to Cope, Spectrum Health, Berkshire Health Systems, the Brien Center, Tapestry Health, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative, Narcotics Anonymous, and Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life. In addition, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the office of the Attorney General will attend. Food trucks and children’s activities will be on hand along with live music provided by Common Folk Artists Collective.

The theme of the walk, “Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery” acknowledges that substance abuse disorders and the challenge of recovery impacts entire families and communities, and that we all have a story to tell and a role to play to support recovery. “More people are starting to understand just how challenging recovery is. Family and community support throughout recovery is crucial and we see it making a difference on a daily basis. We all need to work together to promote the resources we do have and to advocate for additional support services for recovery.” said Kenna Waterman, founder and president of Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life.
The walk, led by Mayor Alcombright, will take place at 2PM through downtown North Adams. Walkers will pause for a standout at the intersection of Main Street and Route 8 by City Hall.

Following the walk will be the premiere of a video about addiction and recovery in North Berkshire. Dr. Jennifer Michaels, Medical Director for the Brien Center, will talk about addiction and stigma in our community and introduce the keynote speaker Andrew McKenna. Mr. McKenna, who practiced law in the Albany area, will share his story of redemption and hope, having traveled the difficult road from Airman, U.S. Marine Corps Captain, JAG attorney, to Federal Justice Department prosecutor, to opiate addict, to heroin addict, to bank robber. McKenna discusses the dangers of untreated depression and anxiety and the necessity for people going through difficult times in their lives to reach out and ask for help.

The event will end with the fourth annual vigil of recovery and remembrance. Pastor Dave Anderson from First Baptist Church in North Adams and Amalio Jusino from North Adams Ambulance will share their observations about loss in our community. A person in recovery will speak as well a family member touched by loss.

“As so many in our community are dealing with the disease of addiction and its co-related mental health issues, this wonderful event celebrates recovery, healing and most importantly hope. I am convinced that most people are impacted in some way by addiction, so I invite everyone to come and support those who struggle each and every day,” said Mayor Richard Alcombright.

For more information including how to share a story or to order a t-shirt for the event can be found at

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