Event set for Saturday with free food, fun and resources By John McLoone “It’s all about connection.” Those are the words of Chad Neuharth, who with wife Tiffany founded Rise Up Recovery in …
Event set for Saturday with free food, fun and resources
By John McLoone
“It’s all about connection.”
Those are the words of Chad Neuharth, who with wife Tiffany founded Rise Up Recovery in Hastings two years ago.
The community will get a fun, filling and fulfilling opportunity to be a part of that in Rise Up Recovery’s 2nd Annual Recovery Roast, set for Saturday, Sept. 3 from 1 – 5 p.m. at Pioneer Park, 801 W. 15th St., in Hastings. The event is free of charge and packed with food and fun, including a pig roast, games for the whole family and an opportunity for the recovery community and the Hastings community to come together.
“We want to connect people in recovery with the community,” Neuharth said. “We are inviting the people of Hastings and surrounding communities to meet the people in recovery. These are people with real value and some really cool stories. We want to give the community the opportunity to learn more about them.”
“There will be people telling their stories,” he said. “I’ll be telling part of my story.”
A really cool part of the day will be the positive presence of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office and its Drug Task Force. They’ll have a booth with vital information for the community and families on spotting addiction in loved ones. And they’ve also agreed to join Rise Up Recovery staff with being in the dunk tank.
“How fun is it for the recovery community to be able to dunk them in the dunk tank?” Neuharth joked. “Their willingness to do it says a lot too. They’re excited to be a part of this.”
He said that many of those who went into recovery may have been led to that journey because of interaction with law enforcement that wasn’t positive.
“Within the drug community, there’s a lot of angst on the war on drugs and how big of a failure that was. At the same time, you have to actually oppose drug use. You can’t let it run rampant in the community.”
Interaction with the Drug Task Force is what gets many to the point where they make the decision to get help.
“That was a part of it for me, when I finally came to the point where I’m going to end up in prison. I was going to die or end up in prison. For me that was it,” said Neuharth.
For those in recovery, it’s often hard to assimilate back into the community, and the Recovery Roast will help.
The event also serves as a kickoff to Recovery Month, which is marked each September. There will be events throughout the month held all over the Twin Cities to spread the word.
“There’s a stigma involved with it. It’s probably the biggest barrier to recovery for these people. Tiffany always says the opposite of ‘addiction’ is ‘connection.’ That’s the difference. That’s why some people make it, and some people don’t,” he said. “You need to be plugged into the recovery community. You do that through your different anonymous meetings and church groups. To be plugged into a group of people, there’s something about that. There’s a need to have that that’s inside of us. It’s hard oftentimes to get connected to the bigger community out there, the rest of the world. That’s not the person in recovery’s fault. That’s the community’s fault. I get. A lot of the crime is connected to drug addiction. People have a hard time separating that. But these are some of the best people you’d ever meet, the best employees you can ever have. They need to be seen as people and not whatever they were before.
“That’s why we’re doing this. The walls come down and things change.”
Last year’s event was held at New Life Church, which helped put together the first Recovery Roast. This year, the “team” will be roasting pigs overnight in the parking lot at the Methodist Church adjacent to Pioneer Park. In addition, there will be hot dogs and all the fixings.
“There’s free delicious food, and by being there, you’re going to show support for those people fighting for their lives,” said Neuharth.
There will also be a booth to make prayer flags, where family members who have lost a loved one to addiction can customize a flag, which will be displayed at the event.
Families are encouraged to bring their kids. There will be great acoustic music throughout the afternoon with special musical guests Smiley Kaul and Timothy Price. There will be games, face painting, kick ball and volleyball, in addition to that dunk tank and testimonies throughout the day.
“We’re really excited about this,” said Neuharth. “We’d love to see the community come out.”
In its two years, Rise Up Recovery has already made a big impact in Hastings. They’re located at 507 Vermillion Street.
“The community is really rallying around the cause. We’re seeing a lot of good things,” said Neuharth. “The fact that we have a nicelooking building with a billboard right on main street, that is important. We want to be the place people can go. What are you going to do when a loved one is battling addiction? Who are you going to call, and where are you going to go. Now they know.”