Meredith Village Savings Bank is pleased to donate $6,000 to Stand Up Laconia in support of “Stand Up Lakes Region,” a special anti-drug event for youth across the Lakes Region. The event will feature guest speaker Chris Herren, recovering addict and former professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, and will be held at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on May 10.
Herren, who has already inspired thousands of youth nationwide with his personal account of addiction and success with recovery, will address approximately 5,000 Lakes Region junior high and high school students from Laconia, Winnisquam, Moultonborough, Wolfeboro, Inter-Lakes, Belmont, Tilton, Farmington and Gilford. The event is free to all attending students.
“Chris has struggled with substance abuse for much of his basketball career. Drug-free and alcohol-free since August 1, 2008, Chris has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above everything else. He attends meetings daily to support his substance-free lifestyle, often sharing his experiences and road to sobriety,” said Luke Freudenberg, co-owner of Winnipesaukee Waterfront Management and member of the Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen. “With commitment from local schools and the community, plus the generous donation from MVSB, teens will hear his story about stardom and success and how opportunities can vanish for a person just as quickly as they appear. It’s encouraging to see and hear how his journey became another kind of success story through recovery. Chris reminds us that hope is always an option, and that we can survive and manage the peaks and valleys of life while clean and sober.”
“We are honored to support this event, which will bring a much-needed and inspiring message to the youth of our region,” said Rick Wyman, President of MVSB. “Chris Herren’s experience offers guidance to local teens making crucial decisions every day about their own health, welfare and future.”
Herren’s professional basketball career began in 1999 when he was first drafted by the Denver Nuggets. He was later traded to the Celtics in 2000. As years passed, his addiction grew to a point where he could no longer play without being on drugs or intoxicated. He adopted a clean and sober lifestyle in 2008, and since that time, he’s conducted more than 250 speeches per year, educating the youth about the dangers of substance misuse. Herren has been profiled in “Unguarded,” an ESPN 30 for 30 film released in 2011, and has authored Basketball Junkie, a memoir chronicling his tortured battle with addiction. He has also founded The Herren Project, a nonprofit offering education and mentorship on substance misuse for people of all ages.
Stand Up Lakes Region was originally conceptualized by Freudenberg and Shawn Coope of Wolfeboro. “Destiny guided Chris to us through Luke,” said Eric Adams, Executive Committee Member for Stand Up Laconia, a Laconia-based coalition working to end substance misuse. “I am grateful that Luke took the initiative and booked Chris. I’m thankful that it all worked out in a way that MVSB was able to step in and alleviate our fundraising efforts to repay Luke. Having Chris come to speak to our teens could not have come at a better time.”
Stand Up Laconia is a Laconia-based coalition working to end substance misuse by advocating for prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery. It is a growing coalition that was established to compassionately and effectively confront the causes and consequences of substance misuse. Members include parents, youth and town leaders from healthcare, business, education, law enforcement, government and the faith community. For more information about Stand Up Laconia, visit www.standuplaconia.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Chris Herren and The Herren Project, visit www.theherrenproject.org.