Tree of Hope Reinforces Commitment To “Celebrate, Honor, and Dedicate” to Recovery
Chairman of the Board Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie stood at the podium on a calm but chilly Wednesday night, surrounded by dozens and shared he too, had been impacted by a person in his family with substance abuse issues.
It was a surprising yet personal revelation at the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania’s hope ceremony earlier this month.
“It takes a village to help someone heal” ” and raise the hope of recovery for all, he said, as he declared “The Tree of Hope” Bucks County’s official Beacon of Light and Hope” on behalf of the County Commissioners office.
We applaud those in recovery and commemorate those who have lost their lives to the disease of addiction, Harvie said as part of his proclamation.
The heartfelt ceremony to “Celebrate, Honor and Dedicate the Bucks County Tree of Hope at the Southern Bucks Recovery Center took place on December 14 among those directly or indirectly impacted by substance abuse issues.
Many persons in recovery from the Lower Bucks area attended the observance.
“Trina” from Bristol Borough said she came out to the ceremony to honor her brother’s memory and share her love and hope with and for the recovery community.
Being here “pushes me to want to help others more” she said.
There were three recovery related honorees celebrated during the hope celebration; Amy Bilyk for outstanding volunteerism, Brian Wilson “Ambassador of Recovery,” which celebrates long-term recovery; and Kim Hoffman who celebrated lives lost when she spoke about the loss of her daughter Danielle to overdose and the grief she faces daily.
“As a mother when you’re first grieving and you know you don’t want to go on I always remember I am responsible to stay sober for my other kids” she said.
Hoffman’s words hit home with so many identifying with her loss, as the opioid epidemic is still claiming the lives of Bucks Countians and people everywhere.
Bucks County Judge Rea Boylan who oversees the county’s drug court which can often be a challenging task was recognized as this year’s “Ray of Hope.”
“I not only believe in redemption I can also see the light in other human beings and believe in hope…it is a privilege to do the work I do with the support of the other judges on the court and the department of probation,” Boylan said.
PRO-ACT Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS), and friend of the publication Kyle Meister who is very vocal about his personal recovery journey on social media said “there’s power in numbers and when you show up for an event like this it creates awareness and people talk about it.”
It’s important to be here for those with lost loved ones just in case they need somebody.
Meister and attendees from the recovery community fully understand the “We” concept of recovery and its value to show life change can and does happen for many.
During the observance attendees were able to place ornaments on the Tree of Hope memoralizing those lost, supporters of recovery and hopes for continued personal healing.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub who was greeted by many warmly his office had to go up against in court said, “everyone matters. No life is disposable” when it comes to addiction.