The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) of the Central MS Area held its 65th Annual Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 13th at The South Warehouse in Jackson, MS.
The event focused on bringing awareness about the devastating effects of alcoholism and drug dependency on the individual, the family and the community.
Jeff Good, the President of Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, the owner/operators of BRAVO! Italian Restaurant, Broad Street Baking Company, and Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint was the emcee for the evening. Due to all his accomplishments, he has become a local celebrity in the Jackson area.
Sister Mary Paulinus Oakes was honored with the NCADD Bronze Key Award for her dedication and commitment to helping NCADD of Central MS and the Recovery Community. Sister Paulinus is one of the founders of Born Free, a primary residential treatment program for pregnant and/or parenting women needing assistance to recover from chemical addiction in the Jackson area. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at My Father's House, a transitional living program. She was instrumental in working with the McCoy House for Sober Living with their expansion to reach more women and impact the recovery community. Her passion is helping those who suffer from alcoholism and drug dependency. Sister Paulinus has been a strong supporter of NCADD and has helped raise funds and awareness for NCADD throughout the community.Group-1Pictured above are (L to R) Leah Smith, Jenny Crutchfield, Kim Mathis, Brad Garraway, Mackenzie Phillips, Ruth Ann Rigby, Martha Wooten, Neely Carlton, Jenny Woodruff (board members with Mackenzie)
During a video presentation, NCADD highlighted their programming and awareness efforts throughout the past year such as their school prevention programs and NCADD's 2nd Annual TTYL (Total Truth Youth Leadership) Conference for high school students throughout Central MS which provides hands on activities to challenge teenagers on their beliefs in relation to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and distracted driving.
NCADD also addressed their free monthly educational talks which bring in professionals to inform the community on topics affecting the community. The video also focused on two new summer camps NCADD started to address needs in the community. Changing the Game Summer Camp opened the door for NCADD to reach inner city high school athletes through an event that allowed former NFL players to teach athletes football drills while NCADD provided prevention education, an ACT prep course, and a head injury class.
NCADD's second summer camp, Camp A WAY, allowed children in grades 3rd-6th that have a parent in recovery or actively using to come to camp and learn about the disease that has affected their family. Participants were given a safe environment to share their feelings, learn that the disease is not their fault and that they are not alone.
Over a year ago, NCADD opened their doors to another need in our community. NCADD allows the only Nar-Anon meeting in Central MS to meet at their office every Monday at 6:00 pm for the family members of those in recovery from drug addiction. The video presentation showed how NCADD of Central MS is seeking to find new and creative ways to reach the community about this devastating disease.
"Everyone is affected by someone who is struggling with addiction. Whether it is a parent, sibling, child, friend, or maybe it's you, we all know someone. Addiction has no biases to age, sex, economic status or race," said Jenny Crutchfield, Executive Director of NCADD. NCADD's Annual Celebration brings awareness about this disease by offering a well known speaker who has overcome their own personal addiction struggles. Crutchfield said, "People relate to other people. This event helps people understand they are not alone and offers hope."
McKenzie-1Pictured here are Mackenzie Phillips (speaker) and Jeff Good (Emcee) Mackenzie Phillips, actress and singer best known for her roles in American Graffiti and as rebellious teenager Julie Cooper on the sitcom One Day at a Time, was the keynote speaker for this event. Phillips is the daughter of John Phillips, lead singer of the 60s bands The Mamas and the Papas. Phillips acknowledged the freedom given by her father and her introduction to drugs at a very young age. This lifestyle led her down the road of addiction. She was very candid about her sexual abuse from her father, lost family relationships, and how her addiction grew through the years. She is grateful for the opportunity to have closure with her father before he died.
She spoke on how this helped in her healing process. Phillips opened up about failed treatment attempts and how she was finally able to conquer her addiction. Overcoming her struggles with addiction and sexual abuse has taught Phillips how to become a strong person and gain insight into helping others. Phillips painted a picture of past pain, recovery, hope and the freedom from addiction she now has today.
NCADD's 65th Annual Celebration was supported by treatment centers and attendees from throughout MS, LA, and AR.
This year's event had the largest attendance and raised the most money from any previous years in NCADD of the Central MS Area's history. NCADD is humbled by the support from the community and looks forward to another year educating and saving lives from this devastating disease.
For more information contact:
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) of the Central MS
875 Northpark Drive, Suite 600
Ridgeland, MS, 39157