Letter to the editor: Ira Mandel

Community Breakfast launches $50,000 Ryan Gamage Stairway To Recovery fundraiser

Posted:  Monday, March 4, 2019 - 1:45pm
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On March 2, the greater Rockland community enjoyed pancakes cooked by Kerry Altiero, of Café Miranda, and John and Andrea Gamage, the uncle and aunt of Ryan Gamage, to whom the event honored.  Ryan’s partner, Liz Thompson, his mother, Patti Nichols, and many other members of his family helped make the event a huge success. 
 
Chip and Cindy Kava, Ned Bachus, Amanda Dwelley and many others worked hard to keep everyone happy.  Curtis Meats and Wiggins Meat Market donated bacon and sausage which were delicious. I want to thank all those others, too many to be named in this letter, all those who came to show their support by coming to eat, listen and talk.  
 
This breakfast was confirmation that “Together, our community is stronger than any drug” and that our community stands firmly behind actions needed to heal families, friends and neighbors from the effects of addiction.
 
The Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition (MCRC), the parent organization for “The Friends House”, the men’s recovery residence in Rockland, has established the goal of raising $50,000 in donations to support stairway renovations that would allow 12 men to benefit by living in this safe, sober and supportive house for their recovery. Currently, due to fire code issues, only 4 men may live there now.  By raising these funds, MCRC will be able to help about 100 men rejoin our communities over the next 4 years, able to support their families and strengthen our community. 
 
No donation is too small. In fact, MCRC encourages as many people to donate as best they can to affirm the communities support by “voting with their donation.”  Donations can be made by credit card via MCRC’s website or by sending checks to MCRC, 411 Main Street, Suite 205, Rockland, Maine 04841.
 
Ryan wanted to build this code compliant stairway to help men in recovery.  With your help, despite losing his own life to this chronic disorder, he can still be remembered by us all as someone who wanted to help others with “The Ryan Gamage Stairway to Recovery”.
 
For questions or comments, please visit MCRC’s website or send an email to info@midcoastrecovery.org.
 
Thank you.
 
Ira Mandel is president of Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition in Rockland