Recover Michiana hosts annual gala, bringing awareness to substance abuse

NOW: Recover Michiana hosts annual gala, bringing awareness to substance abuse

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South Bend, IND. --- With substance abuse and overdose numbers increasing in Michiana, a local organization is helping to spread awareness of the epidemic. Recover Michiana hosted the "I Love Recovery" gala Saturday evening at The Brick in South Bend. The gala is an annual festival centered around helping those who have been affected by substance use and addiction.

"We are focusing on celebrating what recovery from substance abuse disorder and mental health disease looks like in our community," says Co-founder of Recover Michiana, Alicia Wells.

The festival celebrates recovery from substance abuse, highlights local resources for those seeking help, and memorializes those who have lost their lives too soon to the epidemic. The gala is for anyone who has been affected by substance abuse in their life.

“So many different walks of life are in this room tonight," says Wells. "People who are in recovery, people who have lost people, and people who are just trying to shatter that stigma.”

100% of the festival's proceeds will go towards funding for Recover Michiana's Fest coming up in September. This year, the organization introduced a brand-new scholarship called the Swezda Scholarship, that is awarded to students who have lost a parent to substance abuse.

“I’m very grateful for this; the Swezda Scholarship gives an opportunity to give back to those who had lost a parent to addiction," says Olivia Axsom, the first recipient of the scholarship. "So for me, that just means to give something to me to help finance my secondary education at Bloomington.”

The gala brought in a great turnout from the community, and it helped to bring awareness to the ongoing epidemic that Michiana continues to be faced with.

“It just goes to show that so many people care about what’s happening, and we’re stronger together," says Wells.

“It helps so much, especially once I lost my mom," says Axsom. "So I think they really help me get involved into the community, and I’m really excited to be apart of events like this.”

To learn more about what Recover Michiana does for the community, and for information about the fest coming up in September, you can visit the Recover Michiana website.

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