Before the 5K walk began, Keynote Speaker Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) took the stage. Kerlikowske presented President Obama’s proclamation on Recovery Month. Other event speakers included: 37th District Missouri State Rep. Mike Talboy, Kansas City Drug Court Commissioner David Fry, Addiction Recovery expert Alexandre Laudet, A&E Missouri Recovery Delegate Farris Robertson, and several enthusiastic members of AA/Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
Recovery ribbons were also distributed at the event. ACT Missouri staff members created the ribbons to allow event participants to easily identify the recovery success of one another. For example, a red ribbon noted two to five years in recovery, while a gold ribbon signified more than 20 years in recovery.
The ribbon program received great feedback and encouraged an open dialogue between strangers about their recovery journey and success. This system will likely be included at many other Recovery Month events across Missouri next year.
Faces and Voices of Recovery, the national recovery organization, is also considering expanding this concept nationally.
Sponsors of this successful event included: ACT Missouri, Missouri Recovery Network, Faces & Voices of Recovery, National and Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Centers, and First Call NCADD.