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Organizers of flag football event hope to ‘bridge the gap’ between public, recovery community
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Avery Nix, marketing coordinator at Eagle Overlook Recovery for Adolescents, speaks during an interview in Dahlonega on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

Now working on the second year, organizers for a recovery community flag football event Saturday hope to “bridge the gap” between those in recovery and the general public.

The event, running from 2-8 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at Laurel Park in Gainesville, is sponsored by the Jeffrey Dallas Gay Jr. Recovery Center in Gainesville, named after a 21-year-old man who died of an overdose in 2012

The recovery center, also known as J’s Place, opened earlier this year on Juanita Avenue.

J’s Place executive director Mary Paglia and Eagle Overlook Recovery for Adolescents marketing coordinator Avery Nix emphasized the event for changing perceptions regarding the recovery community.

“The philosophy for the event is to reduce stigma for substance use disorder and mental health, to bridge the gap between the recovery community and the general public to come together as one and celebrate life in general,” Nix said.

The flag football game will be held in the baseball field’s outfields.

Nix said last year’s event brought roughly 80 participants.

Local recovery community organizations such as Navigate Recovery and Reboot Jackson will be bringing their own football teams “for a little competitive fun,” Nix said.

Eagle Overlook Recovery, Twin Lakes Recovery Center, Center Point and other recovery organizations will have booths at the event.

Outside of flag football, Paglia said other family games will be available such as cornhole, croquet, badminton and bocce.

Food will be catered by the Hickory Pig, and there will be live music.

Recovery Flag Football

What: Local event for substance use awareness

When: 2-8 p.m. Saturday, June 22

Where: Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville

Cost: Free

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Mary Paglia at 770-503-5137

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