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Recovery Day 2014: A Community Celebration

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Recovery Day 2014 - Josh & Venus

This article was previously featured in the September 2014 issue of the Cazenovia Compass and is about 2014’s Recovery Day. This year’s Recovery Day is Saturday, September 12.

Our third annual Recovery Day was a resounding success! Thank you to each and every attendee. We’d especially like to thank our Cazenovia Recovery team, who worked so hard the past few months to ensure that the event went well.

Recovery Day Crystal Peoples-Stokes

Recovery Day’s Community Speaker Crystal Peoples-Stokes

Staff were at the park early to help set up, though it wasn’t exactly bright due to dark clouds and occasional rain. Coffee was available to help warm up cold hands. Despite the uncooperative weather, turnout over last year was doubled with approximately 400 people in attendance.

Thanks to the work of our program at Visions Place, Recovery Day featured a new children’s tent that included activities for kids like arts and crafts, face painting, and a popcorn machine. Registration went smoothly, as t-shirts and programs were handed out by the staff members of our Supportive Living program.

To kick off the event, Sue Bissonette, our Executive Director, provided the background of Recovery Day and also the history of National Recovery Month. Sue Green, a member of our Board of Directors, and Al Halley, our Chief Operations Officer, each gave testimonials and encouraging speeches to the crowd. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who offered to serve as a Community Speaker for the event, proclaimed that people in recovery are “miracles” and that they have taught her that “anything is possible.” Her speech helped to reaffirm the work that our agency does and that recovery truly is a reality.

Recovery Day Supportive Living Staff

Recovery Day Staff

Music played throughout McCarthy Park, providing the celebratory atmosphere the event intended to create. There were also a few running and walking races, an art show, and a number of vendor tables with information from our community partners.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the weather took a drastic turn for the worse. The wind picked up and torrential rains blew sideways. Some of our tents began to falter, but the crowd came together and ensured that inclement weather was no match for our determination. Thankfully, no one was injured. Jennifer Hatton, our Housing Program Director and overall Event Planner for Recovery Day, said that, “the storm only proved how resilient we are.”

Activities resumed once the excitement of the storm passed. Food was served, prizes were awarded, and the sun began to shine. Overall, the turnout from all of our programs was wonderful and our residents and staff got very involved in the available activities.

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