Jim Stoneall Volunteer Banquet-2012

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Wow…what an amazing Saturday night! The staff at Tallgrass hosted a celebration for all our fantastic volunteers. Over 150 volunteers and alumni showed up for food, fellowship and speakers. Carrie N. our resident Martha Stewart clone whipped up a tasty dinner of pork shoulder, fabulous salads and her glorious cookies! No one ever goes hungry with her around… Our alumni speaker came all the way from Illinois, one Bill S., guest #42, along with local talent Gene G. as our volunteer speaker shared their experience, strength and hope. A great big thanks to both of them…telling their stories with such passion, honesty and gratitude that you could not help but get teared up, only to turn around and laugh. Beautiful. The evening was wrapped up with Veronica Stoneall giving the volunteer of the year award to alumnus #101…Andrew M.

Andrew was chosen after many weeks of debate among the staff…how do we pick out just one? We have so many that give so much of their time to spread the message. Mentoring, driving, leading meetings…this and so much more. We alumni have so much gratitude towards the volunteers. One alcoholic talking to another alcoholic, this is how this thing works.

On Monday evening, Andrew posted on the closed alumni site about his gratitude for the ones who helped him get sober. Who continue to help him stay in recovery. But, I will let him tell you. Again, Thank You. You may never know the impact you have made in mine and others like me, recovery …You are all rock stars. Keep on Keeping on…Joan S. #113

I wanted to say thank you for the “Jim Stoneall Award”. I sometimes still fake a smile when I am sad, sometimes I am still lonely when in a room full of people and quite often there are contradictions going on in my head (some call that insanity). But I now know the peace I searched for so long seemingly in vain . It was waved in front of me like a shinny ticket to happiness, by Herb, Kim B, David & Stewart, Bob, Tom B, Tom A, Jim, Bill, Mike, David H, Dan and so many more, the speakers, mentors and workers of TLC. They were just saying, follow us, come with us, we don’t want anything from you, we want something for you. I can’t thank them enough. It is a blessing to volunteer at TLC, one of my biggest joys in this life, (not that I had a second life as a slave under the Pharaoh of Egypt, but I think Joan used to be the Queen of Sheba), being a slave to the finite masters of addiction/alcoholism was a whole other world and so darkness to light, pain changed to growth and wisdom, hate is replaced by love, and fear taken by direction and purpose. I feel like I am entering the clouds when I go there, Tallgrass, I fuel up my spirit and soar. I love my new family!

                                                                                                 Andrew M. #101

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