Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic celebrated its 50th Anniversary Saturday, September 29th, raising over $600,000 for programs, services, and a planned gymnasium for clients. The September 29th event was held at the Marriott Capital View Renaissance Hotel in Crystal City with over 350 guests in attendance. Co-chairs Suzie Buck and Terry Holmes were supported by a committee of 25 dedicated women who ensured the event was enjoyed by all. The evening featured a video that reviewed the last 50 years of events nationally, locally and the progress Phoenix House had made over this period. David Wright and The Wright Touch played music from the period which added to the celebratory feeling of the event.The organization founded in Arlington, began in the basement of Arlington’s historic Walker Chapel Church in 1962. Led by community leaders such as Arlington County Judge Dodge, Doctor Joseph Kline, Doctor Lucas Blevins, and Larry Underwood to name just a few, this organization became Alcoholics Rehabilitation Incorporated. It changed its name in 1985 to Vanguard Services Unlimited to reflect the expansion of services beyond alcohol addiction. Under the leadership of Senior Vice President and Regional Director Deborah Taylor, who joined in 1989, the organization expanded into Maryland and DC. Vanguard became Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic in 2010 as the organization joined the Phoenix House Foundation, the largest non profit substance abuse treatment organization.
“I think the founders would be proud of their ARI, their Vanguard Services and now their Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic. We have never lost sight of our mission, putting the client and their needs first,” said Deborah Taylor, Senior Vice-President and Regional Director.
The celebration included a host of notable Arlingtonians including Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola, Virginia State Delegate Patrick Hope and Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. The major contributors, Hitt Contracting were represented by the Hitt Family – Joan and Russell Hitt and Tracy and Jim Millar. Corporate Sponsors included Anybill, Virginia Commerce Bank, Cardinal Bank, National Capital Bank of Washington, and United Bank along with many private sponsors and donors.
During the celebration Virginia Delegate Patrick A. Hope (D-Arlington) read a state proclamation bestowing Phoenix House with a special honor. “The Virginia General Assembly recognizes the important role Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic plays in the lives of men and women struggling everyday with substance abuse,” said Delegate Hope. “We know that for people who abuse substances, treatment works and recovery is possible. The programs offered by Phoenix House save lives and I’m so honored to be affiliated with this organization.”