Herren Project Attends Recovery Fest 2018

Herren Project attended Recovery Fest with 50 alumni, ambassadors and community members. We got to celebrate the gift of recovery, remember those we have lost, overcome our disease, support one another and live life to the fullest!

Below our staff and community answered the question, “What was your favorite part of Recovery Fest?”



Angie Tibbetts
Recovery Coordinator

My favorite part of Recovery Fest was being invited on the bus with 20 members of the community to celebrate recovery. It was an adventure. Getting to meet new friends and share our stories made the ride stimulating… Yes, the Red Bull did too. I was able to give out Herren Project sweatshirts to everyone on the bus. The exciting part was walking into the Recovery Fest, representing our Herren Project sweatshirts, as a force! Being united and having a purpose, that’s how we celebrate recovery. Once we were in the stadium, I was available to network. I made stronger connections with the community, took silly pictures and ate stadium food. Eventually I made my way to the floor. If I had to choose, my favorite speaker was Matt Ganem. Anyone that reminds me of being a miracle is my fav! Fitz and the Tantrums were fun- they made my hands clap. The admirable part of the night is when Grace Kelly performed Amazing Grace- while a list of people lost to addiction scrolled on a screen behind her. Maklemore’s performance was engaging and powerful.





Paul White
Recovery Coach, Support Group Leader, Student Outreach

On Macklemore’s song “Starting Over”, Ben Bridewell sings in the hook “we fall, so hard, now we gotta get back what we lost”. It is a song about recovery from relapse. When I relapsed in 2013 after 3 plus years of being sober this song was an inspirational piece that motivated me to get up from my fall and get back what I had lost. This song also sums up what it was like to attend the 2018 Above the Noise Recovery Fest which featured Macklemore on stage. It was a moment where several thousand people celebrated getting back what we lost. I was so grateful to be able to share a moment like this with my son and daughter. 5 years ago I almost lost them and there I was celebrating recovery with my family. Equally as important to me was my Herren Project family of coworkers and recoverees. In 2016 I began working as a Recovery Coach with The Herren Project and since then have worked alongside so many new recoverees. It was an honor to see many of those recoverees who thought their lives were over and they would never have fun again, celebrating music and sobriety. Confucius said “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Recovery Fest was one mass gathering of thousands of people rising together. It was a cultural moment for people in recovery to celebrate sobriety. It was a personal moment of extreme gratitude for me to be with people who help me rise up on a daily basis. It was a moment of connection as so many people from Herren Project bonded together. As well as, new people who shared our mission of Support, Recovery, Overcome, connected with us. So it was a full circle moment for me to be at Recovery Fest when Macklemore took the stage to perform which brought me back to when I first relapsed and was inspired by his song and his lyrics to get back on my feet and get back what I had lost as the song says. There I was at Recovery Fest having gotten back what I had lost finally living a life with purpose.



Pam Rickard
Director of Active Engagement

It’s Macklemore’s own words that epitomize the 2018 Recovery Fest experience for me: “If I can be an example of getting sober, I can be an example of starting over.”

I’ve been to countless recovery-related events over the years, but none with the genuine positivity that I felt at the 2018 Recovery Fest. The positive energy was palpable! From the moment I parked, to the moment I drove away many hours later, I was surrounded by a diverse group of people who shared a common attitude of gratitude and joy. I witnessed the power of recovery personified in everyone around me, from the information tables to the stage. It reminded me that ‘getting sober’ is just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg; the real gift of recovery is the gift of starting over.

We do recover and it’s an honor and a privilege to share that truth, that ‘side’ of addiction, so that others may find their way. That’s the mission of my work at the Herren Project, as well as in my personal life, and I came away from the 2018 Recovery Fest energized and renewed to move forward.