In Oct. 7 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
Freedom Fest 2010 raised money and touched lives of those impacted by the pain and hardship of substance abuse and addiction.
About 50 people walked the 6.2 mile route in the kick-off for Freedom Fest held September 25th at the Russell County Fairgrounds.
The day was filled with horseback riding, corn hole games, a hay ride, and entertainment from local Christian singers.
Festival organizers gave away 60 free prizes, including meals, gas cards, a tv, and other items generously donated by local businesses. They also raffled a rifle won by Audry Carney of Columbia.
Booths at the event represented groups included Celebrate Recovery, Al-Anon, Partners in Prevention, and 2nd Chance Outreach.
At the heart of the event, was a longing to help folks ravaged by drug addiction.
"Freedom Fest was such a success because the community has been hurting so long with the drug epidemic," said co-organizer Genny Lee. "This (event) really touched peoples' lives."
Many sources donated money raising a total of $12,000 during the festival to pay for treatment at 2nd Chance Outreach Center in Jamestown.
"For every $1,000 raised, there is a voucher available for one person's treatment," said Ginny Lee. "If there's anyone out there that needs treatment, they can go to 2nd Chance for a free screening and they may be eligible for a voucher."
Each voucher will cover the cost of detoxification and 30 days of treatment for one person at 2nd Chance.
2nd Chance is a Christ-centered, life recovery program that addresses the fundamental behaviors of substance abusers.
The goal of the organization is to help individuals to overcome addiction mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Genny Lee has seen the difference 2nd Chance can make in the lives of substance abusers and their families first hand.
Her husband, co-organizer of Freedom Fest, recently completed treatment and felt a calling to make a difference in the lives of others.
"My husband Jason is a recovered addict himself," said Lee. "He felt like God laid it on his heart that he couldn't keep his recovery until he gave it away by serving and helping other people."
Just prior to the festival, three people came to 2nd Chance seeking help to be released from the bondage of drug addiction.
During the festival, a young man addicted to drugs came and devoted his life to Christ Lee said.
"There is a noticeable difference in him since Saturday, September 25th," said Lee. "Knowing now that he can choose to go out and help others serving God is a blessing to us."
She said the 19 year old, who has been in treatment for 1 ½ weeks, was baptized last Sunday.
Through the Lee's dedication in helping others, the couple is inspiring people to join them in making a difference in the lives of men and women bound by addiction, their families, and the communities where they live.
Local churches came together and donated their time and money to assisting others who are imprisoned by drug addiction.
"So many churches had a hand in helping with the festival," Lee said. "Most of Russell County's churches participated in some way."
Lee attributes their success with Freedom Fest to their faith in God.
"If God hadn't been behind this, it wouldn't have happened," said Lee. "My husband and I are so grateful for the support we received from our church, Russell Springs United Methodist, Celebrate Recovery, and 2nd Chance, a Christ centered, 12 step recovery center. It makes all the difference with a solid foundation in Christ."
Many vouchers are still available to folks in need of treatment for substance abuse.
Lee urges anyone addicted to drugs and looking for help to contact 2nd Chance Outreach Center and inquire about eligibility for vouchers to cover cost of their treatment.
"There's freedom from a life of addiction through the power of Jesus Christ," Lee said.
For more information about treatment offered and availability of vouchers, contact 2nd Chance Outreach Center at 270-343-9587 or visit their website at www.2ndchanceoutreach.com.