Eleven years ago, two women in recovery read an article about National Recovery Month and realized people all over the United States were celebrating their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. They decided they would stand on top of a bridge at daybreak to celebrate that they were no longer under the bridge in their addictions. This decision marked the beginning of the Hands Across the Bridge event, a collaborative effort between Oregon and Washington to celebrate National Recovery Month.
Patty Katz and Louise Wedge, along with the support of the Portland community, held the first Hands Across the Bridge celebration on the Burnside Bridge in 2002. That first year saw about 200 people and over the next ten years, the event grew; more than 2500 people joined hands in 2012. The concept has spread throughout Oregon and now many communities are celebrating recovery month with similar events.
Please join Patty Katz, founding director of Hands Across the Bridge, on Saturday, September 29th, for Lincoln County’s fourth annual Recovery/Wellbriety month celebration. At 11:00 AM community members will gather at the Fishermen’s Memorial in Yaquina Bay State Park, just off the north end of the bridge to participate in the Hands Across the Bridge event.
Led by County Commissioner Bill Hall and District Attorney Rob Bovett, this event stretched halfway across the span of the bridge last year; we’re hoping for an even bigger crowd this year.
“This event is a visual reminder honoring and encouraging those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and for the thousands, besides themselves, who are affected by it”, says Jennifer Versteeg, Certified Prevention Specialist, Lincoln Commission on Children & Families.
The bridge event will be followed immediately by the Recovery/Wellbriety Celebration Picnic at the north end of Yaquina Bay State Park, in Newport. The celebration runs from 11:00-1:00PM; featuring free hot dogs, salads, and potluck desserts, live music, Native American drummers. Get there early for a free event backpack!