For the second year in a row, Young People in Recovery rang in the New Year at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Tunkhannock.
This year, the event was co-sponsored by People United in Recovery of Wyoming County. Like the previous year, there were a variety of food and fun activities people could enjoy as they waited for 2018 to arrive.
And also like last year, alcoholic beverages were absent from this New Year’s Eve celebration.
“We’ve had more people. It’s better attended than last year,” explained John Fabiseski, Chapter Lead for Wyoming County YPR.
Last year, Fabiseski explained, they had about 20 people show up. This year, about 40 sober people were celebrating at the church as of 9 p.m.
“We wanted to provide a safe recovery environment as an alternative to the usual New Year’s Eve gatherings,” Fabiseski explained.
Young People in Recovery is a group which provides support to people who are recovering from drug or alcohol abuse. One of YPR’s functions is to provide a social support network to its participants, allowing them to socialize which helps them on their road to recovery.
“Rev. Lou Divis has always been so generous to us,” Fabiseski explained, thanking her for allowing YPR to use the church to hold the event. “It allows us, through a celebration effort, to support recovery in the community. It also shows that people in recovery are part of the community, and there is a need for more alternative entertainment to support the recovering community.
Last year, entertainment was provided by Fabiseski and Roger Long of Meshoppen, belting out tunes on their guitars. This year, professional DJ Matt Adams of Tunkhannock donated his time and equipment, providing music and a colorful light show throughout the evening.
Taliena Adams, president of People United in Recovery, explained that Fabiseski is her brother, so it was natural the two groups would team up to sponsor the non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration.
“I’m proud of him,” she said. “I’m very much on the same page as him on what to do.”
Adams explained that she helped form People United in Recovery about a year-and-a-half ago. The group focuses on adolescents experiencing drug and alcohol problems, and how they can be help through recovery.
“I think it’s real good,” Adams said about the event. “There’s a need to do something like this for the kids. To show them that they don’t have to get drunk or high to enjoy themselves.”
One person attending the event was Jennifer Hollister of Tunkhannock, who has been a YPR member for about five months.
“It’s good to know that there are fun things to do when you’re sober,” she explained.
Hollister explained the New Year’s Eve celebration and other similar activities is very helpful to people in recovery in dealing with the challenges of remaining sober or drug-free on a day-to-day basis.
“The DJ and the food were great,” said Chelsea Hunsinger of Tunkhannock. “It was really sober fun.”