The power of our community is evident at Arizona Women’s Recovery Center

By Dr. Beverly Wohlert


Connection is a critical part of the recovery journey, even more so for women.  Now imagine you are a child of a mom seeking recovery and get the chance to have your mom back while living in a loving environment with other children with similar experiences for almost two years.  A safety net forms, lifelong friendships form, and love grows in these spaces.  That is what happens through the programs of the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center (AWRC).  However, at some point everyone achieves the ultimate goals of sobriety, health, and self-sufficiency and moves on with their families and their lives to their own homes.

The staff and Alumni of the AWRC programs formed a committee to create a space to honor one another and their achievements, reconnect with their recovery circles, and bring their kiddos back for a day of fun together.

On Saturday, April 8, AWRC held its Inaugural Alumni Picnic at the Trinity United Methodist Church.  Nearly 300 board members, staff, alumni and their families attended this incredible event.  The event included food trucks, bounce houses, cornhole, and a petting zoo.

A sobriety countdown was held where the woman of over 20 years of recovery wrapped her arms and blessings around a woman who is celebrating her first day of sobriety.  This was an empowering experience.  A photo walk was built to memorialize the alumni and staff members who we have lost over the years. Stakeholders, such as Crystal Meth Anonymous and Sisters Ministries brought resources to share. AWRC founders and previous CEO, Thelma Ross were honored, as well as the first Alumni Champion Award and trophy was awarded to Christina Valery, Career Services Program manager of AWRC.

Raffle prizes and incentives were awarded to alumni willing to complete a short survey to begin collecting longitudinal data on the success of the program.

The entire event was full of laughs and tears of joys and celebrations of success, but most importantly women supporting and empowering other women. The bond created and shared amongst this incredibly strong and resilient community was evident during this celebration and AWRC cannot wait to make it an annual event.  The video of this event can be found on Youtube and the agencies website at