Austin Academy Tree Lighting Ceremony and Book Launch

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

The holiday spirit was alive and well at the Phoenix House Austin Academy on Thursday, December 18, 2008.  Boulder Creek neighbors, staff and friends gathered for the First Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Words That Free Us: Voices of Recovery book reading. The evening’s main attraction was a perfectly shaped oak tree with signs placed throughout as ornaments displaying powerful words such as Hope, Resolve, Love and Friendship. Guests stood around the oak tree as Emily Rudenick, a substance abuse counselor, read her contribution to the book, a piece titled I Wear Starfish Around My Neck. Emily’s reading was compelling, honest and reiterated that recovery is about reclaiming lives. Afterwards, friends were treated to warm cider and holiday cookies before heading over to view the new wall mural. Each section of the wall was a collaborative effort headed by local artist Stephanie DeFario which helped bring to life to the academy.

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