This past Saturday, hundreds gathered at the Ro-Na to celebrate and encourage recovery at the first concert of the “Illumin8” recovery series presented by New Life Ministries.
The event featured free food, door prizes, live music by Arcey Griebenow, of Parkersburg, West Virginia and local band, Genuine Remedy, speakers who spoke about their pasts and recovery, and special guest, Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith, who welcomed the crowd and spoke about past troubles that she overcame through God to begin the evening.
Rick Sturgill, of New Life Ministries, Scott Raney, drummer of Genuine Remedy who is also in recovery and Robb Oldham, recovering addict and founder and owner of the Boyd County Addiction Resource Center, organized the event. Oldham was also a speaker.
“My son died of a drug overdose, so I’ve had a heart for it ever since,” Sturgill said of why he began New Life Ministries four months ago. “Myself, Scott (Raney) and Robb (Oldham) partnered up to set up this event.
Besides Oldham, also speaking were Rocky Meadows, Kevin West and Amy Compston, of the Amy for Africa mission.
Sturgill said there are plans to have three more “Illumin8” recovery concerts this year, with the next coming sometime in the spring. He and Raney said they were impressed with the turnout on Saturday.
“New Life Ministries represents in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia,” Sturgill said. “We have people here as far as Parkersburg, West Virginia and Grayson, Kentucky. We’re reaching a broad area. We expect from here it’s only going to grow.”
The crowd filled the entire first floor of the Ro-Na, while the balcony was even open for overflow.
“It’s amazing,” Raney said. “I’m just in awe.”
The event had more than 30 sponsors and tables were set up for the Boyd County Addiction Resource Center, the Amy for Africa mission, Community Addiction Counseling Centers, New Beginnings Behavioral Health and Humble Bees, a homeless charity organization.