A unique seminar series requested by local residents will have far-reaching effects on the community’s most vulnerable as participants chose to pay it forward.
A group of 35 people attended a series of 12 meetings held on Tuesdays and Saturdays for one month at the Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Centre on Cedar Street. The sessions delved into the many factors that lead to addiction and the requirements for recovery as practised through the 12 Step Program with a heavy emphasis on healthy, holistic and spiritual living.
The lectures were not associated with Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous rather they were based on the spiritual path.
Marilyn Curley, director and owner of Thunderbolt Vehicle Holdings which hosted the sessions, said the lecture series was requested by people who had attended similar series’ held in Campbell River in 2009 and in 2010.
“It was literally demanded of us to do it,” Curley said. “People asked and it spread by word of mouth, we didn’t advertise it.”
Still, Curley said the series, which was facilitated by Rick Peterson who has a background in the treatment of addictions through the recovery process, was extremely popular and well-attended.
“We were bursting to capacity,” she said. “We had to turn people away.
“These sessions have been held in Vancouver, at various times in the past, providing a service to the community – to people who are interested in learning about addictions and recovery.”
In Campbell River’s case, not only did the participants benefit from the seminar but others who were not in attendance will too.
Each guest at the lecture series made a donation to attend and at the end of the day, $500 was raised and will go towards the Lighthouse Centre which hosts a soup kitchen and functions as the Extreme Weather Shelter to get the homeless off the streets during the winter and provide them with a warm place to sleep for the night.
“Thanks goes to the people who attended and who voluntarily donated funds,” Curley said.
“People also generously donated a large quantity of winter clothes and blankets for people in need of such items” for the Lighthouse’s Winter Escape program.
Curley also thanks Robert Palmer who recorded the entire lecture series.