OGDEN -- The local substance abuse counseling community and their clients will be joining in national Recovery Days with an outdoor gathering Saturday featuring music, speakers, awards, games for the kids, raffles, food and fun.
"It's not just for those in recovery," said Jamie Diarte, clinical supervisor over addiction and recovery at Weber Human Services, one of the sponsors for the get-together.
"It's for everyone to see there are people in recovery and there is hope."
Events are planned for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Serenity House treatment center, 2740 Pennsylvania Ave. Diarte said a turnout of up to 300 people is expected.
The national Voices of Recovery program has named September as Recovery Month. Similar block party-style events have been held in Salt Lake City and Tooele, with Provo holding its gathering Saturday as well, followed by St. George on Sept. 24, according to the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness group's website.
Events Saturday at Serenity House include an address from former Weber County Attorney and now 2nd District Judge Mark DeCaria.
DeCaria presides over the Weber County Drug Court, an alternative court that emphasizes intense counseling and monitoring of addicted defendants instead of incarceration.
Several recovering addicts also will speak of their trials and tribulations.
The day will be topped off with a raffle of numerous items from local businesses to pay for treatment for selected substance abusers.
Items to be raffled off include a four-team, 18-hole golf package at Talons Cove, time at Golds Gym, haircuts at the Silver Spur, karate instruction, numerous gift cards, yard aeration service, fishing flies and more.
The gathering will be considered the first annual if events are successful enough to lead to a second next fall, Diarte said.
Locally, the numerous sponsors include Ogden Regional Medical Center's ACT drug and alcohol treatment program, the Salvation Army, Ogden's Metamorphosis program for opiate addicts, the state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and United Way of Northern Utah.
Nationally, sponsors of Recovery Days include the A & E cable channel's Recovery Project.