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Darryl Strawberry to Speak at Guiding Light Annual Banquet 2017
Off the Field, on a Mission, Guiding Light Offers a Different Kind of Comeback
By: Guiding Light
The Guiding Light Annual Banquet will take place on Thursday, Oct. 5, at Frederick Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline NE at 6 p.m. The night will open with music from local roots band, Hawks and Owls. WOOD TV Sports Director Jack Doles will emcee the event and introduce Strawberry, who will share his own comeback story.
"Darryl's story of addiction and loss is universal," said Stuart Ray, executive director. "His incredible comeback story and recovery journey is something that we experience at Guiding Light every day.
"Sharing these stories with our community shows that recovery is possible – and that there are people and organizations to support. We encourage anyone who might be interested in hearing Darryl or learning more about Guiding Light to join us for the evening."
Now an ordained minister and founder of Strawberry Ministries, Strawberry's nearly 20-year baseball career began in 1984 with the New York Mets™ with whom he won a World Series title. He later played for the New York Yankees™, earning him three more championship titles. Strawberry, now 55, is an eight-time National League All Star.
Despite his successful career, Strawberry's personal life floundered. Coming from a broken home and then being thrust into the limelight, he admits to turning to alcohol and drug use at a young age. After bouts in rehab, suspensions, jail time and a cancer diagnosis, Strawberry decided it was time for something different.
At a Narcotics Anonymous recovery convention in 2003, Strawberry met his now-wife, Tracy, who helped him make permanent life changes. Together, the couple created Strawberry Ministries, which includes a drug and alcohol detox treatment center that, much like Guiding Light, provides intense addiction treatment, counseling and transitional housing for those looking to make a change.
"I'm excited to share my story, and I hope it will encourage others to support Guiding Light's mission," said Darryl Strawberry. "Addiction and loss can affect anyone – even professional athletes – and organizations like Guiding Light can make all the difference in a person's recovery."
Guiding Light programing includes Guiding Light Recovery, a transformative program that provides time, space and a place to heal from addiction, as well as Back to Work, which provides full support to those who are homeless and looking to re-engage in the workforce. The numbers are impressive:
· -77 percent of men who completed the recovery program moved into transitional housing, found work and remained sober after a year
· - 95 percent of its Back to Work members leave with full-time employment
Last year alone, the downtown Grand Rapids-based nonprofit created a $13.5 million economic impact through the more than 700 individuals who have gained employment through Guiding Light's innovative programs.
Banquet tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at www.guidinglightworks.org/
The Guiding Light Annual Banquet 2017 is sponsored by AIS Construction Equipment, Standale Lumber and Supply, Chemical Bank, Wolverine Worldwide, Varnum LLP, MLive, Feyen Zylstra, Modply and other generous community organizations and individuals. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Development Director Starla McDermott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Guiding Light
Founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, Guiding Light has grown into a robust recovery and re-engagement community designed to help those living at society's margins fulfill their God-given potential. Through its Back to Work, Recovery and Iron House programs, Guiding Light works with men struggling with addiction and homelessness to return to society.