About 125 people joined hands from the north end of the Yaquina Bay Bridge Saturday all the way south to the first arch of the overhead steel. The effort was to celebrate sobriety, which they call “Wellbriety,” for those who have kicked their dependency on drugs or alcohol. Afterwards they headed for Yaquina View School for free hot dogs, soda pop and shared each other’s story in their efforts toward wellbriety from the point of view of recovery as well as from counselors who guide them in their journey.
Wellbriety advocate and Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall told NewsLincolnCounty.com that this year’s crowd was about the same as last year, but this time they wore new light blue t-shirts with the “Hands Across the Yaquina Bay Bridge” logo on them.
Hall said that resources to encourage and assist those dependent on alcohol and drugs are stretched very thin, not only in Lincoln County, but across the nation. He said, however, there are a number of organizations that are putting forth a sincere effort to help those who want to kick their dependency be successful. He said local organizations like Lincoln County Health Department drug and alcohol programs, the Truman Center and a number of local non-profits and faith based organizations stand ready to help.
Hall says anyone who wants to re-establish their lives without the use of drugs or alcohol can take the first step toward wellbriety by simply calling 2-1-1 and ask for a referral to an organization that can help them begin their life-improvement journey. Help is also available online at www.211info.org
District Attorney Rob Bovett reported that they introduced a new award this year, which will be given at each future annual event: Recovery Hero of the year. This year’s award, which included a quilt, was presented to Gus Willemin, long time counselor at the jail who, throughout his career, has helped saved countless lives and families form the ravages of addiction. The award caught Gus by total surprise, but it is so well deserved. Gus is an amazing individual, who has been a counselor and mentor to so many folks who have hit bottom and need hope for recovery and a fresh start. He is the perfect person to be the first to receive this award.