Press release from Vaya Health:
Hundreds of western North Carolinians from all walks of life rallied on Saturday in Haywood County to celebrate and recovery from substance use, mental health concerns and other life challenges.
The 4th Annual Western Regional Recovery Rally drew about crowds to Lake Junaluska for the family-friendly event. The day included a lakeside recovery walk, cookout lunch, inspiring speakers and personal stories of recovery.
Speakers from local government included Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown, Waynesville Police Chief Bill Hollingsed and Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher. Also addressing the crowd were Tabitha Bradford with Appalachian Community Services; Dan Pizzo with the Buncombe County Department of Social Services; Family Peer Mentor Natasha Penland; Lori Clancy with Communities Rallying for Recovery; Oryx Cohen with the National Empowerment Center; veteran Aaron Dean, a Purple Heart recipient and regional director of Broken Chains; and Ginger Malcolm, a peer support specialist for October Road, Inc. Kallup McCoy II, executive director of RezHOPE, and Katelyn Ledford were recognized for their efforts to support recovery locally.
The event was sponsored by a wide variety of local agencies, healthcare providers and community organizations, including Vaya Health, a regional public managed care origination. Every year, September is recognized as National Recovery Month.