‘More important than ever’: Discovery House shines light on addiction

The lights of Discovery House were turned on to shine a light on addiction on Dec. 19, as part of the recovery centre's annual holiday campaign. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Staff and residents of Discovery House in a moment of silence for friends and loved ones lost to overdose this year. Discovery House held a private in-person light up on Dec. 19 as part of their Shed the Light on Addiction Campaign. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Discovery House has pointed the spotlight back on addiction through another successful campaign.

The recovery centre that focuses on returning fathers to their children and sons to their families celebrated the season and the donations to their Shed A Light fundraising campaign on Dec. 19.

Shed the Light on Addiction and the need to focus that light is more important than ever this year, with the province recording 1,386 fatal overdoses since the start of the year, according to the most recent numbers released by the B.C. Coroners Service in November.

Seven alumni of Discovery House’s programs were among those who died from an overdose this year, according to executive director Jerome Abraham, and the recovery centre also lost long-time staff member Richard Haughian to a sudden heart attack.

“It’s been a really hard year with losses,” said Abraham. “It seems like every two to six weeks, we lose another person that’s close to us.”

Haughian was one of the original five clients for the Discovery House recovery program in 2007 and stayed clean for 13 years up until his passing, becoming a recovery professional and helping many other men to get clean and back to their families.

This year, the campaign raised over $70,000 towards the purchase of a third property, which was funded through the donations for enough lights to be put up on both of Discovery House’s existing locations.

“There should be about 7,000 lights,” said Abraham.

A $50,000 donation from Parkers Chrysler and owner Janet Parker gave Discovery House a big start to their fourth annual campaign, and put them much closer to their $100,000 goal.

The money will go towards down payment for the property next door to the Winnipeg Street Discovery House, something that will eventually add eight new recovery beds to the program.

READ MORE: Discovery House receives $50,000 donation to kick off annual fundraiser

In normal years, the light-up would have been open to the public, with an open house and tours of Discovery House. Due to COVID-19, this year the light-up went digital, streamed live on the Discovery House’s Facebook Page.

In addition to the Winnipeg Street event, there was a memorial service, a smudging ceremony, lighting of the recovery home at Wade Ave. W, and a lighted walk of hope to the Winnipeg St. location for a candle and house lighting.

READ MORE: Discovery House campaign commemorates those lost to addiction

Shed the Light on Addiction started in 2017.

The campaign continues through to the end of 2020, and single bulbs can be purchased for $10, or a strand of 25 for $250, with donations over $20 receiving a tax receipt.

Bulbs can be purchased by phoning 250-462-1388, by emailing prrs@shaw.ca or by going to the Penticton Recovery Resource Society page on CanadaHelps.org.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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