Submitted By: Emily Jung
The ARCHway Institute held their First Annual Dinner and Silent Auction in Fort Myers, Florida at the Pelican Preserve Country Club on October 29, 2019. This event was a huge success! Over 90 people were in attendance at this event from a variety of treatment agencies and organizations in the area. It was a true gathering of minds from a variety of backgrounds and situations all brought together by the disease of addiction and all focused on combating this disease.
Debbie Strobl has been an amazing contribution to The ARCHway Institute team. She has a personal connection to this line of work and a passion for making change. Through volunteer work in St. Louis, Missouri she was introduced to John Stuckey, the founder and visionary of The ARCHway Institute, and his parents, Dan and Jan Stuckey. The ARCHway story inspired Strobl and gave her the hope and the platform she needed to spread this non-profit organization to her new home in Lee County, Florida and to bring their recovery together, in order to educate, raise funds, and provide hope for those in the community affected by substance use and co-existing mental health disorders.
There were a few others who played an instrumental role in getting this event up and running. ARCHway board member, Mark Fitzsimmons, and ARCHway volunteer, Mayer Berg, were both a voice for ARCHway, attending meetings, sharing the mission and vision, and spreading the word about ARCHway throughout the community. In addition, Deb Comella, the director of Lee County Coalition for a Drug Free Southwest Florida helped to connect ARCHway to all the right people in the area.
Dan Stuckey, ARCHway’s Chairman, spoke about the work that ARCHway is doing nation-wide and explained how they can be a resource in the area. Dan started with John’s story as the founder and visionary of ARCHway and his personal struggle with Opioid Use Disorder. During his path to recovery, John found several gaps in care that he wanted to help fill. ARCHway does this by providing scholarships to aid individuals on their path to recovery, connecting individuals and caregivers to resources, and educating and spreading awareness in order to reduce stigma and inform communities. Above all, The ARCHway Institute is a beacon of hope for families and individuals on their path to recovery.
Ken Brown with Florida Department of Children and Families, was the keynote speaker. He shared his own personal journey of recovery and spoke on some of the new initiatives being driven at the state level. Brown’s story was inspiring and showcased that recovery from the disease of addiction can and does occur, and in the process, relationships are restored, support systems are developed, and one’s life purpose becomes clear.
One of the highlights of the night was having ARCHway Scholarship Recipient, Ashley, in the room. ARCHway’s scholarship helped with the initial costs of residential treatment/housing at Ryan’s House, a local treatment agency. The ARCHway Institute was able to share Ashley’s story through a video that really highlighted the support system that sober living can provide to a person in recovery. Her story is inspirational and touched all hearts in the room.
The event raised over $7,500 to help provide funding for housing, treatment, and resources to those struggling with substance use and co-existing mental health disorders. The ARCHway Institute was grateful to all the event sponsors, gift donors, volunteers, and participants who made this event possible. This includes but is not limited to rehabilitation centers, Lee Hospital, Park Royal, Salus Care, Hazelden Betty Ford, United Way, and Salvation Army along with The Recovery Care Organization at the local and state level. It was a wonderful night!
For more information about The ARCHway Institute, check them out at https://thearchwayinstitute.org/ or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thearchwayinstitute/. You may also reach out to ARCHway CEO, Mark Shields, at firstname.lastname@example.org.