On Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, during its annual Season of Giving charitable campaign, AEG dedicated its holiday efforts to Phoenix House. AEG’s Season of Giving is an initiative designed to raise funds and generate awareness in support of non-profit organizations working on issues of hunger, homelessness and healthcare. During the month of December a different organization is invited every evening to give a presentation about its services and achievements on Red Carpet at the L.A. Kings Ice Rink downtown, in the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex. The skating pauses for 15 minutes, the Red Carpet is literally rolled across the ice and the representatives and friends of the organization are invitied to be interviewed, with PR materials broadcast on large screens surrounding the rink.
The Phoenix House Red Carpet Presentation opened with the broadcast of the award-winning song “Like a Phoenix”, written by Phoenix House students under the guidance of Phoenix Rising Music Program’s Director John Morabito. The song won the first prize in the 2011 NIDA Grammy Foundation teen song competition. John Morabito has engaged numerous musicians, DJs and music producers in supporting the program and volunteering their services. He understands very well the disease of addiction and its root causes. Making music, writing and performing songs have a therapeutic effects and results in beautiful recordings. John works with students individually and in groups; he helps them find their voices and provides accompaniment to their voices.
For the AEG Season of Giving Presentation, John invited one of our celebrity volunteers, Ronan Chris Murphy of the Recording Boot Camp, who supports the organization and collects funds for the Phoenix Rising Music Program. Several years ago, Mr. Murphy organized a large event and wanted to donate a portion of the proceeds to a nonprofit with a mission that “clicks” with his musical interests. He found Phoenix House on the internet, became interested in our music program, and has remained our friend ever since, soliciting donations and spreading the good news about the importance of our mission and the quality of services that we deliver.
During the Red Carpet Presentation, Mr. Murphy spoke about the joy of giving: engaging in charitable activities is highly rewarding for the donors, not just for the beneficiaries! After the presentation, he was interviewed by World Monitor TV and later commented, “It was great for me to be at the LA Live event on behalf of Phoenix House. The work they are doing at the school and in the studio is so important, that it was a real honor for me to be a part of it.”
Crystal Green, VP of Insurance Initiatives & Admissions for Phoenix House and Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Sr. Director of Planning for Phoenix House discussed the innovative aspects and effectiveness of the agency’s unique approach to substance abuse and mental health treatment. “Poetry is just one of the many arts programs that we use to help teens and adults overcome addiction,” said Dr. Trochimczyk. “With professional mental health therapists, and experienced counselors, we approach every patient individually. We help our students deal with past traumas and establish new goals for the future. We help them learn to have fun without drugs, but with music, poetry, and exercise.” Dr. Trochimczyk read three poems from a book of poetry written by Phoenix House’s clients and graduates: Voices of Recovery: Words that Free Us, published in 2008.
The first two poems, “Stealing” and “Retreat” talked about the effects of addiction and emotional withdrawal in addiction. The third poem, “Opening Up”, talked about hope when entering treatment:
I’ve opened up
I’ve let them in
And now a new life can begin
I’ll be brave
Though I’m afraid
I’ll make it through another day
I’ll rise above
The mess I’ve made
I can be proud of me today
Two Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles students who were in attendance received free ice skating passes, and enjoyed their first attempt of walking on ice. One of the students commented: “Ice skating was a cool experience because I have never ice skated before. The experience allowed me to learn something new, even if I was holding onto the railing most of the time.”
Interviews with Crystal Green, Maja Trochimczyk, and Ronan Chris Murphy are on the website of World Monitor TV among other AEG Season of Giving Presentations. We are grateful to AEG’s Valentina Martinez, Community Affairs Manager, who extended the invitation to Phoenix House and helped organize the presentation.
For more information about Phoenix House programs, or if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or mental health conditions, calls us today at: 1 888 671 9392 ().