Pictured above are (Left to right) Heather Ward, Helen Varvi, Nicki Francis, and Lissette Bacharde showing their blue thumbs after placing them on a plaque of remembrance.
Frank Greenagel and Joel Pomales Recognized as First Ever Middlesex County Recovery Champions.
At an emotional ceremony held September 19th, Wellspring Center for Prevention celebrated the 2017 National Recovery Month by dedicating its “Tree of Hope” to The Rutgers University Recovery House program.
The “Tree of Hope” is awarded annually to an organization that promotes recovery from addiction. This is the second time the Rutgers University Recovery House program was awarded a Tree of Hope, the first time was in 2003.
The event also featured the recognition of Frank Greenagel and Joel Pomales as the 2017 Recovery Champions. These two individuals were recognized for going “above and beyond” to foster recovery in the community.
Wellsprings’ annual Tree of Hope campaign is designed to raise the consciousness of our neighbors to the fact that addiction is an illness from which many do recover, and to celebrate those recoveries. This annual event is one of the agency’s primary fundraising vehicles and supports their confidential information and referral Helpline, which helps over 800 individuals and families annual to begin their journey of recovery.
Lisa Laitman, Director of the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) within the Rutgers Health Service and CAPS, accepted the award on behalf of the Program. “We are truly appreciative of this recognition by Wellspring,” noted Ms. Laitman. “Our over 30 year investment in Rutgers Recovery House has enabled students to enjoy a supportive environment and support each other’s sobriety while forming meaningful personal relationships based around friendship, sobriety and their college experiences.”
Keith Murphy the Program’s Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor also spoke at the event. Two students shared their experiences as members of the Rutgers University Recovery House program, attributing their recovery success to the staff and other student members.
Frank Greenagel used to work as a Recovery Counselor at both Rutgers New Brunswick & Newark for five years, where he oversaw recovery housing and coordinated student & alumni activities. He is a member of the NJ Governor’s Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse (GCADA) since 2011 and was the Chairman of the NJ Heroin & Other Opiates Task Force. Mr. Greenagel trains police in NY, NJ and PA on issues surrounding addiction and community policing for the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies. He also served on the Board of Directors for Hazelden-Betty Ford.
Joel Pomales is a speaker who believes that recovery should be accessible to everyone. A long time recovery spokesperson in New Jersey, Joel has a vision for others and understands the supports and services that need to be more readily available. He is a board member with the New Jersey Alliance of Recovery Residences, and is certified as a home inspector for recovery residences in the State of New Jersey. And, he is a member of the Middlesex County Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and Prevention Links. Mr. Pomales is President of the Middlesex County Recovery Center Coalition whose efforts are focused on bringing a Recovery center to the County.