New year brings new spin on justice to Tulalip

Wellness Court aims to give people the support they need to be successful 


Tulalip’s Chief Judge, Ron Whitener, speaks with community members at the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center on the benefits of the Wellness Court versus traditional court.
Tulalip’s Chief Judge, Ron Whitener, speaks with community members at the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center on the benefits of the Wellness Court versus traditional court.


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


On the first day of 2017, the Tulalip Tribes will begin to heal the community using a new approach to addiction and the court system, the Wellness Court. The philosophy behind the new court system is that by treating addiction as a disease and not a crime, the victim will have an opportunity to take advantages of resources such as counseling and treatment. Therefore, providing addicts the opportunity to slowly and comfortably transition from a habit-led life to a new life where they can begin take control back.

“This has been a long time coming and we’re very grateful for everyone coming together. It shows courage when you come together as a community and you want change. You want to help people instead of throwing them in jail. We know as Indian People that there’s a better way to help our people, a better way to help them find their journey,” stated Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon.

It has been said by numerous officials that the nation is seeing the worst drug epidemic since crack cocaine  ruled the drug scene in the 1980’s. Specifically in the state of Washington, heroin and opioids are tearing families apart and are the cause of about 30% of the state’s deaths. In Native America, those numbers are a lot worse. The Tulalip Tribes alone sees 13 times more losses due to the drug epidemic.

Tulalip Board member Les Parks serves on the committee for the Wellness Court and has been very active in getting the system up and running.

He says, “The Wellness Court concept is not new to this country. It’s been around for a long time, back then it was known as drug court. But this program is a completely different animal than the drug courts of the old days. We are adopting this new philosophy of love by wrapping our arms around our people who need us.”

Les explained that the current court system is failing when it comes to helping the people from the Tulalip area who are addicts.

“The addiction in our community is rampant and [the majority] of the people that are coming through the courts are because of crimes that are related to their addiction. We’re just recycling people. You can’t just put them in jail and expect them to get better. They do their crime, go to court, then to jail. They get out and repeat their crimes and it keeps going over and over until it’s too late. What we’re doing is not working,” Les urged.

In most cases an individual can spend anywhere from two days to six months in jail. Tulalip’s Chief Judge, Ron Whitener, stated that the jail time is not a factor in the recovery process for most addicts, and holding a person who is battling addiction in jail for six months is not cost efficient. The end result for a user fresh out of jail remains the same, they will relapse and sadly, this is when many people overdose.

For this reason, the Wellness Court’s average jail time will be two days. After the individual is released, the Wellness Program is immediately put into effect. Judge Whitener explained the difference between the traditional court system and the Wellness Court.

In traditional court, the judge remains neutral and enforces jail time. At the Wellness Court, the judge is extremely interactive and rewards positive behavior and takes the time to talk to an addict who is struggling, helping them stay on their path to sobriety.

The Wellness Court is a two-year program that will assist users by providing resources and encouragement. Resources include access to counselors in behavioral health, mental health and chemical dependency, as well as overall health care. Another service Wellness Court offers is advisement for education, job placement, and housing.

Judge Whitener states the epidemic is requiring nationwide change and that the process has to adapt to the needs of today’s society. “The courts are now moving away from the old way of business. It was this idea that when people choose to commit crimes, the way you deter them from committing more crimes is by throwing them behind bars. What we are now finding is the reason they are committing crimes is because of an addiction. They’re either trying to get money to be able to pay for the drug or they’re doing something like driving a motor vehicle while impaired by the drug,” he explains.


“By breaking the cycle we can save one of our young people that’s an addict. We can’t keep sending them to jail and giving up on them. They need us.  We can’t give up on them.”

– Marie Zackuse, Tulalip Tribes Board of Director


Chief Carlos Echevarria also serves on the council for the Wellness Court and has been working tirelessly to find a resolution for his people. He explained the heartbreaking reality that his team sees every day, addicted members of his community that have burned all their bridges with friends and family, now have nowhere to turn.

The Chief stated, “One of the most horrific things my officers have to deal with on a regular basis is when they come into contact with one of our members who has an outstanding warrant and is addicted. The jail refuses them because they are full. We attempt to reach out to their family members for additional resources for them and, because of strained relationships caused by the drugs, there aren’t any. We have to watch them walk out of our police department. It’s the absolute worst thing. We don’t know what’s going to happen to them as they leave our custody and head back to the streets. This program allows us to use a number of new resources to help those individuals and get them on the right path. We need to starve the addiction and through this program we can. Recovery is contagious.”

Katie Lancaster-Jones shared her experience with the Snohomish County Drug Court located in Everett. Katie became addicted at age 12. Her drug of choice was Meth. After being in and out of the court system, she realized that the system was not working for her. She desperately wanted to become clean so she attended the 21-month long drug court program and has been clean ever since.

“Drug court saved my life. It taught me structure. Now I am a Northwest Indian College Graduate. I am clean! And most importantly my two kids are happy and healthy,” expressed Katie.

During the month of October, the Tulalip Tribes is hosting a series of community meetings explaining in further detail, and answering all of your questions throughout the Tulalip Community. The remaining meetings will be held on Wednesday October 19 at the Tulalip Gym at 5:00 p.m. and on Wednesday October 26 at the Kenny Moses Building at 5:00 p.m. For additional information be sure to attend one of the upcoming community meetings.

Tulalip Board of Directors member Marie Zackuse urged her community to take action stating, “By breaking the cycle we can save one of our young people that’s an addict. We can’t keep sending them to jail and giving up on them, they need us. We can’t give up on them.”



Contact Kalvin Valdillez,

Opioids and Heroin Forum helps inform and heal communities



Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon speaks about healing from addiction. Photo/Kalvin Valdillez
Tulalip Tribal Chairman Mel Sheldon speaks about healing from addiction. Photo/Kalvin Valdillez


by Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 


“Out of curiosity, how many folks here have someone they know who has an opioid addiction?” asked Tulalip Tribes Chairman, Mel Sheldon, at the Opioids and Heroin in Snohomish County community forum. In response, nearly everybody in the Orca Ballroom of the Tulalip Resort and Casino raised their hands.

“I’ve been to too many funerals supporting families who lost a loved one due to an overdose,” Mel continued. The first time he saw the effects of heroin was in the service. Mel witnessed G.I.’s fall victim to ‘China White’ the popular street name for the drug at the time.

Mel stressed that the forum was designed to inform and heal.  He understands the difficulties of addiction and spoke of his many years of sobriety from alcohol.


Dr. Gary Goldbaum
Dr. Gary Goldbaum


Before introducing guest speaker, Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Mel expressed that sharing is a part of the road to recovery and understanding, and that community is stronger by working as one. “When we share, we may hear something that inspires us, something that helps us. So when a friend says ‘I need some help’ we can give them the resources they need, and make a difference.”

Dr. Gary Goldbaum spoke about the epidemic that is destroying communities nationwide. He explained that is extremely difficult to quit once you have started using opioids. He showed side-by-side chemical structures of the prescription opioid OxyContin, prescribed for pain, and of heroin, revealing the two structures are nearly identical.

Because heroin produces the same effects to the human body as OxyContin, many people turn to heroin once their prescriptions run out. The price is cheaper and the demand is so high that the drug has become easily accessible. In recent years, deaths caused by heroin overdose have hit the community of Snohomish County extremely hard. For this reason Dr. Goldbaum believes that a major key in preventing people from trying opioids is education, and suggests that educating children at a young age would tremendously help stifle the epidemic. “This is beyond any one person,” he expressed. “This requires all of us.”

Goldbaum explained in detail what happens during the downward spiral of someone who is addicted to opioids. “Once a person becomes biologically dependent they are driven so hard to get the drug, that it comes at the expense of everything else in their life. Nothing is as important as getting the next fix, because withdrawal is painful.”

He went on to explain that the ‘miracle drug’, Naloxone, should be carried with addicts and friends and family members of addicts at all time. Naloxone saves lives by reversing an overdose in a matter of minutes.

Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department stated he shares the frustration and anger the community feels. He said that nearly every crime responded to is heroin related.

“It’s our number one concern,” Chief Echevarria said. “When I was about fifteen I lost two uncles. Last year I lost my brother due to an overdose, so I understand.” He shared that he felt the ‘what ifs’ and that he shared tears with parents in his office who were making funeral arrangements for their children.

Tulalip Health Program’s Annaliese Means and Tulalip community activist Rico Jones Fernandez both spoke of the epidemic ways to help the community.

The health clinic and community health program provides intake exams and counseling for recovering addicts, though treatment and most counseling takes place at Family Services.  The program also helps expecting mothers who are using to get and stay clean during pregnancy.

Rico was instrumental in the passing of Tulalip’s Good Samaritan Law and he also worked hard to get the health clinic’s pharmacy to distribute Naloxone. Rico is also known for running Tulalip’s Clean Needle Exchange Program, where he personally walks throughout the Tulalip Community picking up used needles. The exchange also makes clean needles easily accessible, preventing diseases such as HIV for addicts who would otherwise share needles.

Two speakers, Debbie Warfield and Jim Hillaire, each shared their heartbreaking stories of how heroin stole their children at young ages.

Debbie described her son, Spencer, as a normal kid who loved sports but hated school. Before Spencer started high school they noticed he started to display more aggressive-like behavior. Thinking it was just a phase and the growing pains of adolescence, Debbie didn’t look too far into the behavior at first. However, by the time Spencer reached high school he was diagnosed with depression and ADHD and was prescribed medication. The medication caused him to become distant in both his home and social lives.

Spencer graduated and attended Washington State University where he was diagnosed with anxiety, and this time, opioids were prescribed. Spencer then tried heroin. He went to treatment for 28 days, but eventually died from an overdose.

Jim recently lost his daughter Angelina. She fought a long hard battle with her heroin addiction. She would often get clean for extended periods of time, and then relapse. Each time she relapsed she made strong efforts to get clean again by going back to treatment.

Hillaire stated the entire staff at one of the treatment facilities loved Angelina so much, they invited her to stay and work for them. Ultimately, Angelina decided against staying because she wanted to be with her family. Angelina lost her heroin battle this past summer. Jim stressed that this epidemic is a sickness, similar to a zombie apocalypse, and urged “these people are not dead but are valuable. They are worth our time and our help.”

The major keys that Jim stressed repeatedly are that the entire community needs to be more involved in each other’s lives in order for change to happen, to revisit some of the traditional teachings and practice them at home, and the community also needs to understand what addicts are going through. “I never met one person that wanted to continue to be an addict,” Jim stated.


Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department.
Chief Carlos Echevarria of the Tulalip Police Department.


Chief Echevarria said the Tulalip Police Departments priority is to bust the small time dealers in the Tulalip community. The Chief will also continue to assist, in any way possible, with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. Commander Pat Slack states that the Sheriff’s Department is focusing on catching the suppliers who are importing the heroin from Mexico.

The forum concluded with a Naloxone training to better equip attendees with the knowledge of how to revive a person who has overdosed.

Another forum will be held on October 13, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Edmonds Community College.

Healing Lodge: The next step in our journey to fight addiction

Tulalip drummers and singers bless the Healing Lodge with a traditional welcoming song at the grand opening on Friday, April 17. Photo Micheal Rios
Tulalip drummers and singers bless the Healing Lodge with a traditional welcoming song at the grand opening on Friday, May 1.
Photo Micheal Rios


by Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The much anticipated grand opening ceremony of Tulalip’s qʷibilalʔtxʷ Healing Lodge was held on Friday, May 1. Tribal members, Healing Lodge staff, and community members traveled to the Stanwood property to attend and observe the cultural blessing and welcoming songs, heartfelt Board of Director speeches, and ribbon cutting ceremony that officially marked the grand opening. Tulalip has now decisively chosen to take the next step in fighting the addiction problems in the Tulalip community by providing a transitional home facility for tribal members who are seeking a sober and clean lifestyle.

“I want to welcome you all here to this beautiful Healing Lodge of ours,” said Diane Henry, Recovery Home Manager, prior to the ribbon cutting. “I’m going to get emotional because it’s been a long time and we’ve been working so hard to get these doors open. We’ve worked really hard to try to uphold our values as a tribe, to bring in the programs we want to offer here that can contribute to our community and help those folks who come here to transition back home in a good way. We want to have this facility truly being what that name means, Healing Lodge. It’s a beautiful facility and this truly is a great day for all of us.”

For years now, the tribal membership has been pleading for more services located on the reservation to combat the steadily growing disease of addiction. Instead of sending our members to off-reservation facilities that are unable to relate to their needs culturally and spiritually, they should be able to stay close to home while receiving healing and recovery treatments that they will not only respond to, but that can become part of who the person is at their cultural and spiritual core. The Healing Lodge is the first of many facilities of its kind that we hope to see to built to meet the needs of the people.

“Today, more than ever, addiction is so real in our community,” explains Tulalip Treasurer Les Parks. “It’s an epidemic, not only in our community, but in this entire country. What better way to help our addicted members than to bring them into a place of culture and healing. I am so glad. It warms my heart that we no longer have to send our members to the outside world to transition back into our community. We are sending them to our healing home with our cultural values. This is transitioning our members back into the community. Everything that being Indian means to us rests here in the property. Today is here, it is a good day.”


Outside view of the Healong Lodge, which can accomodate up to 16 residents seeking a clean and sober lifestyle. Photo Micheal Rios
Outside view of the Healing Lodge, which can accomodate up to 16 residents seeking a clean and sober lifestyle.
Photo Micheal Rios


The years of preparation and development that has gone into the Healing Lodge has been meticulously engineered to provide a culturally sensitive transitional home. This home provides a safe, secure, supportive and stable environment for Native Americans seeking to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. The Healing Lodge’s vision is to extend recovery within the Tulalip Tribal community through quality evidence-based practices, existing programs and continued expansion.

In following the traditions of our Tulalip ancestors, we are ensuring that tribal members are valued and cared for. The Healing Lodge will offer a unique blend of traditional Native, western, and eastern medicines combined with social and psycho-educational modalities of treatment to serve our Native people. Each Healing Lodge client will be adapted into their own client-specific program that is culturally woven with a holistic approach through Red Road to Wellbriety teachings, taking circles, and teaching of Native American drumming and singing. Of course there will be on-site Red Road Recovery meetings and AA/NA outside meetings that will be further supplemented by traditional smudging ceremonies, teachings of equine therapy with on-site horses, and healing through the on-site sweat lodge.

The rooms of the common floor are decorated with Tulalip artwork to make residents feel more at home. Photo/Micheal Rios
The rooms of the common floor are decorated with Tulalip artwork to make residents feel more at home.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios
One of the resident rooms.Photo/Micheal Rios
One of the resident rooms.
Photo/Micheal Rios


Recovery is a life-long process and involves examining personal identity and beliefs, adjustments and changes to family and social relationship, and changing lifestyles to accommodate sobriety. Tulalip Behavioral Health understands that recovery is more than just abstaining from the use of alcohol and drugs. There will be a variety of classes offered to rebuild lives with traditional value. Healing Lodge residents will have an opportunity to learn gardening, Native arts and crafts, and traditional round drum making and songs. Additionally, personalized classes will be offered for the essential life skills to include financial management, anger management, self-esteem building, and education of the disease of drug addiction and alcoholism, classes for relapse prevention, exercise, meditation, and nutrition.

The Tulalip Board of Directors support offering Native American style services to promote healing of the emotional, physical, spiritual and mental well-being of every member who chooses to become a resident of the Healing Lodge.

“It’s truly about all of us as a collective,” says Board Member Theresa Sheldon. “It’s not about sending one person away and making them get better and figuring out how to function back into the community, but about us as a collective getting better and learning how to function together in a healthier manner. So I’m truly thankful for those reasons today, that we are here and will continue to support each and every member of our community. This is just our first step in becoming healthier as a community. I know it’s going to be fabulous and it’s going to have great, great results for our people.”

The Healing Lodge hopes to be the first huge step, of many yet to come, that will provide the Tulalip Tribes with the resources and services necessary to fight the ever-growing addiction epidemic that plagues so many of our people. The three story Healing Lodge includes a dedicated third floor for eight female residents, a dedicated first floor for eight male residents, and a second floor common area that includes a top of the line kitchen, dining room, meeting rooms, and a library. Also, included on the property are two barns, spacious fields where the equine therapy will take place, garden beds, and scenic walking paths.


Photo/Micheal Rios
Photo/Micheal Rios


“I really want this to be a place of healing for our people. A place where they can go to recover from their addictions and to be able to transition back home with a new set of skills,” says Diane Henry. “Sometimes people need more than just learning how to cook and clean, then need a place that can help them figure out how to live a sober lifestyle. Some people have never seen that in their own families. They may have come from families who’ve battled addiction all their life. Addiction become a normal routine. How do you get out of that? How do you stop that cycle of addiction? This place is that next step after treatment that addresses those issues.”




Equine Therapy for Lodge Residents


Horses at the Healing Lodge will help promote emotional growth in residents. Photo/Brian Berry
Horses at the Healing Lodge will help promote emotional growth in residents.
Photo/Brian Berry, Tulalip News


One type of therapy offered at the Healing Lodge is Equine Therapy. This type of therapy involves the use of horses by professionals to help with the recovery of patients that are affected by behavioral problems, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, autism, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship needs and others. When participants interact with horses, it allows them to learn about themselves when they are learning basic equestrian or horse training commands. Some positive benefits or results of equine therapy are trust, boundaries, spiritual connections, increased social skills, and self-confidence.

Pam McMahon, the barn manager for the Healing Lodge, said that participants receiving equine therapy will be “learning life skills to help them adjust back into society with a different perspective.”  She said that anytime you spend time around horses, it tends to soothe the soul. It helps people see a better way of life and develops better relationships because “horses tend to mirror the inner feelings of people”, which will be effective in showing the professionals the feelings, behaviors and attitudes of the participants.




Art at the Lodge


Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News


Rare, one of a kind artwork by national and local artists can be found on display at the Tulalip Healing Lodge. And where some of the artwork came from is a curious approach to decorating.

Paddles and drums by unknown artists were rescued from a local Marysville pawnshop, along with a few prints by Michael Gentry, a Cherokee painter whose work has been purchased by U.S. presidents and is known for his Native portrait paintings.

Many of the larger art pieces were commissioned for the Healing Lodge and crafted by renowned Tulalip carvers, Joe Gobin and James Madison. Large carved cedar tables in the common areas tell traditional Tulalip origin stories, such as Madison’s salmon table that depicts our people’s history with Big Chief Salmon.

Incorporating pawnshop finds with newly crafted art may be a bit unusual for decorating, but Healing Lodge staff couldn’t have been happier with the outcome of unique artwork that completes the Lodge.


Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil
Photo/Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News


By Tulalip News reporters Mara Hill and Brandi N. Montreuil contributed to this article 

Contact Micheal Rios, ,







Cotton Candy and Atomic Fireball flavored electronic cigarettes are forging a new pathway to addiction, death and disease

By:  Ross P. Lanzafame, American Lung Association National Board Chair
Harold Wimmer, American Lung Association National President and CEO

E-cigarette use among middle school children has doubled in just one year.  Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that e-cigarette use also doubled among high school students in one year, and that 1 in 10 high school students have used an e-cigarette.  Altogether, 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide use e-cigarettes.  Yet, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still is not regulating e-cigarettes.  The absence of regulatory oversight means the tobacco industry is free to promote Atomic Fireball or cotton candy-flavored e-cigarettes to our children.  Clearly, the aggressive marketing and promotion of e-cigarettes is reaching our children with alarming success.

It is well known that nicotine is a highly addictive substance, whether delivered in a conventional cigarette or an e-cigarette.  The use of sweet flavors is an old tobacco industry trick to entice and addict young children to tobacco products, and the entrance of the nation’s largest tobacco companies into this market clearly is having an impact.   Why does Big Tobacco care about e-cigarettes?  Tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people each year and thousands more successfully quit.  To maintain its consumer ranks and enormous profits, the tobacco industry needs to attract and addict thousands of children each day, as well as keep adults dependent.   Big Tobacco is happy to hook children with a gummy bear-flavored e-cigarette, a grape flavored cigar or a Marlboro, so long as they become addicted.  We share the CDC’s concern that children who begin by using e-cigarettes may be condemned to a lifelong addiction to nicotine and cigarettes.

In addition, the American Lung Association is very concerned about the potential safety and health consequences of electronic cigarettes, as well as claims that they can be used to help smokers quit.  With no government oversight of these products, there is no way for the public health and medical community or consumers to know what chemicals are contained in an e-cigarette or what the short and long term health implications might be.   That’s why the American Lung Association is calling on the FDA to propose meaningful regulation of these products to protect to the public health.

The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a safe or effective method to help smokers quit. When smokers are ready to quit, they should call 1-800-QUIT NOW or talk with their doctors about using one of the seven FDA-approved medications proven to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.

According to recent estimates, there are 250 different e-cigarette brands for sale in the U.S. today. With that many brands, there is likely to be wide variation in the chemicals that each contain.  In initial lab tests conducted by the FDA in 2009, detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals were found — including an ingredient used in anti-freeze — in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various e-cigarette cartridges. That is why it is so urgent for FDA to begin its regulatory oversight of e-cigarettes, which must include ingredient disclosure by e-cigarette manufacturers to the FDA.

Also unknown is what the potential harm may be to people exposed to secondhand emissions from e-cigarettes. Two initial studies have found formaldehyde, benzene and tobacco-specific nitrosamines (a well-known carcinogen) coming from those secondhand emissions. While there is a great deal more to learn about these products, it is clear that there is much to be concerned about, especially in the absence of FDA oversight.

34 years of encouraging wellbriety

Language department sings welcome song in Lushootseed at the opening of the banquet
Language department sings welcome a song in Lushootseed at the opening of the banquet

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News writer

TULALIP, WA – Addiction can happen to anyone. It is not something that strikes instantly; it begins as a habit, slowly overtaking the person in a process that can take anywhere from days to years. An addiction starts as a habit that becomes harmful to the person, eventually they reach a threshold where they are no longer in control of their choices but are instead controlled by their habit.

Tulalip celebrated its 34th annual Wellbriety Banquet at the Tulalip Resort’s Orca ballroom on Saturday, Sept 21st.  As people arrived and filled the ballroom they greeted one another with hugs, handshakes and laughter. The annual banquet provides an occasion for tribal members to come together and recognize each other’s challenges as they overcome addiction.

The language department opened the event by greeting everyone with a welcome song sung in Lushootseed. Tribal board member Mel Sheldon started off the evening of speeches by thanking everyone for being there and invited the tribal members that had been asked to speak to come to the stage and tell their story about addiction and recovery.

Katie Jones told her story of addiction, recovery and how it has affected not only her life but her children’s lives. “Our addiction takes over; when they say “It’s becoming you” they’re not lying. It becomes your best friend,” said Katie. She is now part of many support groups and helps others stay on the path to recovery. She is also beginning a program which will help guide parents through the system to help them get custody of their children back.

Rudy Madrigal is now a legitimate, successful business man.  He explained how his addiction was different in a way that it wasn’t all about substance abuse, “I bring a different type of addiction; I was addicted to money.” Rudy admitted how he remembers selling to many of the people in the room. “Addiction is where you lose your family; you lose everything. I even lost my reservation. I was excluded from this reservation for what I did.”

The stories are upsetting to listen to but they have an ending that gives hope to others struggling with their addiction.  When Board member Deborah Parker was asked to speak, she explained how when people share their stories of hurt or anger, how important it is to cleanse yourself off so you aren’t carrying the hurt or anger around with you.

Deborah said, “In a teaching an elder gave me this week, “He said to make sure you wash yourself with water, wherever you go.” You can go to the river; you can go to the bay. Go, be next to the water. Even if you don’t have time for that, when you wash yourself off in the morning, make sure you take that water and you cleanse yourself and ask for something for yourself, maybe it’s  healing or to release some anger or hurt you have in your heart.”

Sarah Murphy and Children2Before the live entertainment and dancing would start they began the sobriety countdown.  As the 40 year countdown went on, throughout the room as people stood to declare how long they had been clean and sober it was made evident that quite a few attendees have been enjoying the Wellbriety banquets for many years.


Chairman, Mel Sheldon welcomes everyone to the banquet.