OGDEN -- Despite a judicial no-show at the dunk tank Saturday, organizers were calling the turnout for Weber County's third Recovery Day celebration a success.
The day is linked to Recovery Day events around the country this month to raise awareness and support for addicts in recovery and their loved ones.
Organizers were confident a late afternoon raffle of more than $3,500 in donated prizes -- including a golf date with Weber State University basketball coach Randy Rahe -- would clear $1,000 at $1 per ticket. Proceeds from Recovery Day at the Ogden City Amphitheater will pay for "treatment scholarships" for women suffering from substance abuse.
Activity early Saturday at the dunking booth was brisk despite the fact the headliners weren't able to show.
Advance publicity promised the public a chance to dunk local judges at $1 a throw.
But the state Administrative Office of the Courts advised Ogden 2nd District Judges Mark DeCaria and Michael DiReda, as well as Reuben Renstrom, a justice court judge in several local cities, to stand down.
AOC policy precluded their direct participation in any kind of fund-raising event because of potential perceived conflicts of interest.
So local firefighters, police officers and even a few deputy Weber County attorneys manned the drunk tank. Proceeds were keeping up with raffle ticket sales in the early afternoon, organizers said.
Both turnout and fund-raising were exceeding expectations, said Craig Anderson and Jamie Diarte, counselors at Weber Human Services and among the event organizers, Diarte personally raised at least $30 in her turn at the dunk tank.
More than 84 tickets at $25 each were sold for Friday night's dinner-and-a-movie fund-raiser, said Kelly Marquardt, chair of the organizing committee and a counselor at the Metamorphosis outpatient treatment center at 2144 Washington Blvd. The goal was 75 tickets sold, she said.
The 2007 film "Happy Valley" looked at hidden problems of prescription drug abuse in Utah despite the state's reputation for healthy lifestyles, low crime rates and high levels of literacy.