What an evening. The 10th annual benefit for Christian 12 Step was an awesome celebration. Above all Jesus was honored as testimonies were shared by overcomers whose lives have been recovered and saved from addictions. Thank you Jason, Don, Alan, Josh, and Ken for your encouraging testimonies. A special thanks to Kim and Nancy sharing the change in family relationships brought about by husbands and fathers finding recovery through the Christian 12 Step Ministry.
We were honored by the attendance of John sharing the story of the change in the life of Marge’s daughter through Christian 12 Step. Marge has opened the doors in a number of counties in Ohio. The ministry is now recognized in the drug courts and as an option given for offenders to be part of a faith based programs to pursue recovery as part of their sentence.
It was my privilege to introduce some very special guests, Sylvia and Rebecca Counselman, wife and daughter of the late Bill Counselman, former chaplaincy director for the Florida Department of Corrections. Reverend Counselman was very committed to the worth of every individual including those who had made consequential choices in the past.
Present was also Chaplain John Meyer and his wife Pat. Chaplain Meyer was a very special chaplain in my past and continually encouraged me. Also Bob and Janice Gregory were in attendance. The Gregorys assisted me with housing and employment years ago when I was in need. I also recognized Katherine Burns and her husband Dale. Katherine is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met and directs the largest reentry center for prisoners in the state of Florida. We do appreciate the support we receive from so many folks that inspire us.
The Ray and Rita Geisel Outstanding Service Award were given to two very special ladies. Jan DiBello was presented the 2013 Award and Janet Maidment was presented the 2014 Award. Both these ladies are committed and consistent volunteers. We could not do what we do without our dedicated volunteers.
The music rendered by Norman Lee was an inspiration to all in attendance. The Ocala Hilton provided a most delicious buffet with a great atmosphere as usual. And auctioneer, Cole Erwin, coordinated the best auction ever. We were able to raise several thousand dollars to assist in the continued outreach of Christian 12 Step.
A special thanks to Sheri Martin and Renee Arnett for hours of time dedicated to making the event a most successful fundraiser. Also thanks to dozens of donors who made the auction possible. I was hoping that whoever got the St. Augustine Weekend and the Maggie Valley Week would offer it to me so I could get away for a few days. But I assume that they intend to take advantage of the “get out of town” as a gift to be enjoyed with their families. Let me also say thanks to Kandi Crossen for the beautiful chocolate daises that adorned each table and auctioned off to add to the benefit.
Thanks to all those in attendance. Without you we could not have had a most successful evening. Remember to reserve March 7, 2015 for the 11th annual banquet and the 36th anniversary of Christian 12 Step Ministry.