A free-will offering produced $2,400 in donations to support the work of SWFAS, which helps 5,000 people each year with addictions and other problem behaviors, as well as After the Rain of Southwest Florida, which assists women in recovery from addiction, homelessness and domestic violence.
The concert, entitled “Free At Last!” celebrated the joy of recovery from substance abuse and featured songs such as the “Serenity Prayer” and the Florida premiere of “Morning Train” by Gwyneth Walker, and “Spiritus Sanctus” by Thomas Grassi.
A few minutes of the program was dedicated to the non-profit partners sharing information about their organizations along with testimonials from individuals in recovery from substance abuse.
Addiction impacts one in eight people in our community, according to SWFAS CEO Kevin B. Lewis.
“Addiction is an equal opportunity disorder, affecting young and old and all socio-economic groups. The good news is that with treatment, people can – and do – recover. We are very appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Vocal Artistry to share stories of recovery with the audience, especially since music expresses the message of hope for those struggling with addiction,” Lewis said.
“More than music, our goal is to inspire, entertain, enliven and engage our minds, souls and spirits through the power of music,” Caulkins said.
Vocal Artistry was founded by Caulkins in 2010 as an outreach of the music program of First Baptist Church of Fort Myers, where he is Director of Music Ministries. Caulkins, who was associate conductor/director of choruses of the Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus for nine years, also is artistic director of Key Chorale of Sarasota.
The all-volunteer Vocal Artistry troupe performs concerts that shine the spotlight on various community causes, such as SWFAS. Prior to the end of the 2011-12 season, Vocal Artistry encouraged local non-profit organizations to apply to become one of its community partners for the 2012-13 season. Six organizations were selected; in addition to SWFAS and After the Rain, they are United Way of Lee County, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and PACE Center for Girls.
SWFAS is Southwest Florida’s leader in the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. More than 5,000 people per year, from ages 9 to 90, receive services annually from SWFAS. SWFAS provides detoxification services for adults, outpatient, intensive outpatient, residential, and day treatment for kids and adults, prevention programming, and an Employee Assistance Program. All treatment programs are evidence-based and accredited by CARF. SWFAS is a United Way Partner Agency.
For more information on services, call (239) 332-6937 or visit www.swfas.org.
For more information about Vocal Artistry, call 334-7747 or visit www.vocalartistry.org