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Promoting recovery

Riverside Recovery Services, Chesapeake PD host community fair

CHESAPEAKE –– The hot weather Saturday didn’t stop people from coming out to the Chesapeake Community Park for a day of fun.

Riverside Recovery Services and the Chesapeake Police Department hosted the first Ribbons for Recovery Resource Fair, which featured numerous local agencies as well as live music by the Bounty Hunter Band, guest speakers, free food and a variety of activities for the children to enjoy.

“We knew there were a lot of untapped resources in the area,” Amy Smart, executive director of Riverside Recovery Services, said.

“Folks started asking us if we were going to have different people and organizations here, so we thought it would be good to bring them here for people to learn more about.”

Besides Riverside Recovery and the Chesapeake Police Department, organizations on hand at the fair included the Chesapeake Volunteer Fire Department, Lawrence County EMS, Chesapeake Pentecostal Church, Huntington Junior College, Ohio Means Jobs, the NECCO Center, Advocate House Addiction Center and the Lawrence County Health Department. Children enjoyed free inflatables and face painting as well.

“We got a lot of community response from local agencies when I would call them and ask if they wanted to set up at the fair,” Kathy Ross, Riverside Recovery Services site manager and intake coordinator, said. “It’s very heartwarming to know that there are so many folks in Lawrence County that just want to see us do better than the drug epidemic that’s over us right now.”

Guest speakers that took the microphone at the event were Smart’s son Flint Postle, who spoke about his experience growing up with a mother who’s a recovering addict, Riverside Recovery Services client Brandy Kennedy and Ross’ sister Donna Reynolds, who spoke about their experiences with addiction, and former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarrett, who played for the Buckeyes in the early 2000s, as the keynote speaker.

Patrolman Aaron Christian, of the Chesapeake Police Department, said the department has worked hand in hand with Riverside Recovery Services since they moved into the village earlier this year.

“Recovery is very important,” he said. “It’s good for the community to help out with people who need help.”

A large Ribbons for Recovery poster welcomed people to the event where they could pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to addiction by signing it.

“We’re just letting folks know that recovery is possible,” Smart said. “It doesn’t have to end in an overdose and it doesn’t have to end in death.”