Fairbanks Celebrates Recovery with Fifteenth Annual Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner

The 2016 Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner, held April 21 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, was a rousing success and touching celebration of hope and recovery.

Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts served as the premier sponsor for the annual Circle of Hope 1fundraising event, which supports the programs and services at Fairbanks, La Verna Lodge and Hope Academy. This year’s Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner drew an attendance of nearly 600 and raised over $156,000! The event raises awareness about alcohol and drug addiction while honoring an individual or organization for outstanding contributions related to research, education or treatment of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

Circle of Hope 2Congratulations to this year’s Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award recipient, Justin K. Phillips! After losing her son to a heroin overdose, Justin started the Indiana-based nonprofit, Overdose Lifeline, Inc., and has dedicated her life to carrying the message of hope to individuals, families and communities affected by addiction. Justin has spent countless hours advocating for recovery including her work with Senator Jim Merritt in 2015 on passing SEA 406 (Aaron’s Law) to allow for layperson access to Naloxone, an antidote to narcotic overdoses.

Keynote speaker Andrew McKenna, a recovery advocate and author, chronicled hisCircle of Hope 3 journey from serving in the and Marines to his work as prosecutor for the Justice Department’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the Criminal Division, and eventually his addiction to pain medications and other narcotics stemming from an old back injury that would land him in prison for multiple bank robberies.

Circle of Hope 4The event also featured three individuals who shared their inspiring stories of struggling with substance use disorders and how today they are living in long-term recovery. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller served as honorary chair and Angela Cain, director of public affairs for the Indianapolis Airport Authority and formerly of WTHR-Channel 13, reprised her role as host of ceremonies.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored and attended the event!