April 18, 2016 — After only about a year in existence, Maine Township’s program to assist those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction has been recognized for excellence. The program called Recovery Connection was awarded The Henry White Memorial Award at the Shining a Light on Recovery Awards Dinner held April 9 at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie.
The awards dinner was hosted by PEER Services, a non-profit community-based agency that recognizes the strength of individuals living in addiction recovery as it celebrates 41 years of delivering cutting-edge addiction prevention and treatment services to local communities. Since 1975, PEER Services has provided community-based substance abuse prevention and treatment services to the residents of Evanston, Northfield, New Trier, Maine and Niles Townships, and the north side of Chicago.
“It was a wonderful experience to be there and to be a part of saving the lives of teens and adults struggling with substance use disorders,” says Marty Cook, Community Outreach Coordinator of Maine Township’s Recovery Connection. Recovery Connection was honored for its innovation in developing a strong network of support for young adults in recovery.
That evening PEER Services also recognized the Red Eye newspaper with The Shining Light Award established in recognition that it takes a village to prevent and treat substance abuse problems in the community. The award was for the Red Eye’s Inspiring series on addiction and recovery.
The last of the three honors went to the Lillian and Larry Goodman Foundations which received the Chairman’s Award presented for demonstrated courage and leadership in helping to bring awareness to addiction as a major health issue and philanthropic leadership in addiction prevention.
The Henry White Memorial Award was established in memory of Henry “Hank” White who was one of PEER Services founding board members back in 1975. Hank was a tireless advocate for prevention, treatment and recovery. This award recognizes the contributions of an individual or organization that has helped to shine a light on recovery making it easier for more people to find their way back to health.
Cook explains that getting and staying sober from drugs and alcohol is tough for anyone, at any age, but most particularly it’s difficult on those young adults 18-32, whose social fabric is often composed of parties and bars. For these reasons, in 2015 Maine Township launched Recovery Connection, a partnership with The Niles Park District, Presence Holy Family Hospital, Keys to Recovery, Oakton Community College, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and others.
Recovery Connection connects young adults who want to stay clean and sober with each other, as well as community resources, social events, and a strong network of peers to support each other and be positive examples of recovery. Cook and his team work collaboratively with health, vocational, governmental, educational, and behavioral experts to connect participants to community resources that can meet their needs.
“The goal of this community-based program is to support long-term sobriety, healthy lifestyle activities, and to assist young people as they mature into contributing members of our community,” Cook said.