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The Purple Party: Pittsburgh's First Sober Celebration

The Purple Party is a sober celebration full of incredible entertainment, performances, food, desserts, mocktails and more— and it’s also a time to reflect on the journey of recovery.

The Purple Party will welcome the sober curious, sober celebrating, and everyone that supports the recovery community on Thursday, May 18th at the Energy Innovation Center.

“Fortunately, sober events are becoming popular, and not just for those in recovery! Addiction is a serious illness that wreaks havoc on individuals, families, and communities. Yet, recovery is possible. It’s estimated that 22.3 million Americans are living in recovery and that’s worth celebrating. We want people to see the miracle and joy of recovery, and experience the fun of sober-celebrating while supporting the important work that POWER is dedicated to,”

 says POWER CEO Rosa Davis. “There’s nothing like this in Pittsburgh. This party with a purpose is going to become the biggest sober party in Pittsburgh!”

Each year, POWER honors alumni for their accomplishments in Recovery. This year, alumni will be featured in stunning Purple Portraits by Rose Colored Creative at The Purple Party. The portraits will eventually make their way to the new POWER Campus.

We caught up with two of the honorees, Allan Terry and Terrell Rose to hear more about their stories.

Allan Terry likes to remember the time his POWER mentor, Phil Diamond, returned his call from an ambulance. “He was on his way to the hospital because he might have had a stroke, and he called me back to make sure I was all right. That’s the kind of guy Phil is.”

click to enlarge The Purple Party: Pittsburgh's First Sober Celebration
Allan Terry

Allan coped with childhood poverty by drinking and selling drugs. By age 16 he was in jail. He’d been through programs, but no one helped him quite as much as Phil. “It was because Phil was also in recovery,” said Mr. Terry. “It was the first time I had someone help me who had lived experience. Phil and I just clicked.”

“When I went into recovery, I was given custody of my young daughter. Phil helped me find resources to take care of her and to turn his life around. Phil and I hit all the diaper banks,” he continued.

With seven years of his own recovery, Allan is now a Certified Recovery Specialist helping others with his lived experience. He especially likes working with people with criminal backgrounds. “I like to guide them so they don’t have to make the bad choices I did.” And when Allan needs help finding a resource for a client he calls Phil.

Terrell Rose spent years in and out of rehab— so many that she lost count. She always went because other people wanted her to go. When she decided she was ready for a change she came to POWER. She was a resident at POWER House, POWER’s restorative halfway house, for six months.

click to enlarge The Purple Party: Pittsburgh's First Sober Celebration
Terrell Rose

“I loved the serene environment and formed many bonds with the women there,” said Ms. Rose. It was there that she learned that she didn’t have to run to men for help: “Being at the house with women seeking recovery taught me a different way to get help. I learned how to rely on other women for support.”

Terrell’s recovery date is January 15, 2012. She goes to meetings regularly, she has a home group, a sponsor, and a healthy support group.

“The best thing about her life today is where I am seated,” she continued. “I was once a resident at POWER House and now I work for POWER as an in-take specialist.”

Her words of advice for anyone struggling and thinking about getting help? “Give yourself a break. Do what you need to do for yourself. You must put yourself first.”

Join the celebration at The Purple Party on May 18th at the Energy Innovation Center. City Paper is proud to be a media sponsor of this event and we’ll be there to cheer on Allen, Terrell, Rosa, and many others in our purple finest.

Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest
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Ephemeral art made at Chalk Fest

By Pam Smith