Sunday, September 24, 2017
Paul Bengtson, CEO of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital received an advocacy award from Kingdom Recovery Center on Friday, September 15th; each year, the center presents an award to someone who has made a difference in prevention, treatment and recovery from Substance Use Disorder. Pam Smart, Care Integration Coordinator at Community Connections presented the plaque to Paul. The plaque’s message read “Thank you Paul Bengtson for your many years of leadership and commitment to addiction and recovery advocacy within our community.” Paul has been a staunch supporter of the center for many years; he helped the hospital purchase Dr. Bob’s Birthplace and Childhood Home over 20 years ago, subsequently giving it to the Recovery Center, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Prevention Services for offices and meetings. Dr. Bob grew up in St. Johnsbury and was a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Cindy Boyd, Executive Director of the Kingdom Recovery Center and Nancy Bassett, Recovery Coach and member of the Board of Trustees of the Center, organized the afternoon’s events.
The afternoon began with the Kingdom Recovery Center’s annual march and candlelight vigil to honor those who have recovered from a Substance Use Disorder, and to remember those who lost their lives to the disease. People made signs and marched to the Caledonia County Courthouse Park. Senator Jane Kitchel read a proclamation. Gary Miller, co-founder (with Bess O’Brien) of Writers for Recovery, read a poem titled “Then as is Now” by Tennyson Marceau, Prevention Specialist at NVRH. Several other writers read their poems; all were very moving.
People mingled with lit candles and music remembering those who had lost their lives to the disease of addiction. Pizza and refreshments were served on this lovely afternoon of honor and remembrance.
For information about September as National Recovery Month, please visit: www.recoverymonth.gov. For information about The Kingdom Recovery Center, please visit: www.kingdomrecovery.com/.