The 3rd Annual Recovery Festival was held at Lake Wappapello, MO on September 18, 2010. Several hundred people attended the free event hosted by the Regional Recovery Network that includes family and friends of people in long term recovery, as well as those seeking prevention, treatment and recovery services offered in this area.
State Representative Gayle Kingery’s opening remarks embraced the crowd. He let the event participants know that he truly believes in recovery and that the journey is all about people helping themselves and one another begin a new life. Kingery said he was proud to be a part of such a great event.
Guest Speaker Mark Panagous encouraged those in attendance to find a support system and connect with others who offer hope to break the disease of addiction that can plague families for generations. Panagous stated that today could be the day to break the shame of being in recovery.
Event organizer and Vice-Chair of the Missouri Recovery Network State Council Austin Montague proclaimed that this was a day of celebration and freedom from addictions.
Montague said, “We are the faces and voices of recovery and recovery voices count. If we can prevent our children and grandchildren from making the same mistakes we have made by being positive role models, we will make our communities better, safer places to live.”
The day was filled with personal testimonies speaking out against the stigma associated with recovery. Booths on prevention, treatment and recovery offered resources and information on services in the area. The central message brought forth from the speakers was that recovery is real and happens every day. Participants were encouraged to forgive themselves and move forward with their lives as productive members of society.
This year’s festival was sponsored by the Butler County Resource Council, The Missouri Recovery Network, SEMO Behavior Health, River Radio Broadcasting, Z-95 The Bone Radio and First Midwest Bank of Poplar Bluff. Many local merchants and concerned citizens also co-sponsored this successful event. Several area faith-based 12 step recovery groups were represented by enthusiastic speakers, as well as Director of Archangels Outreach Ministries in Springfield, MO, Joseph Hahne.