Winners of the 1st Annual Russ Wilson Essay Contest Announced

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On March 6th, 2015 the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) announced the winners of the 1st annual Russ Wilson essay Contest. Cash prizes were awarded to the top 3 entries, essays on recovery, as determined by the family of Mr. Wilson.

Dan Wilson, Hope Valiska (1st place), Dina Repinecz (2nd place), CCAR Executive Director Phil Valentine and CCAR Board President Tom Kirk

"Our brother would be immensely proud of these brave essays. Like the winners, Russ had the courage to admit his own vulnerability and the strength to make difficult changes in himself."

After reading through several essays submitted to the Connecticut Community for Addiction Services, three Connecticut people have been selected as the winners of the 1st Annual Russ Wilson Essay Contest.

Writers were asked in 1,500 words or less, to write about either their recovery, or the recovery of a loved one, reflecting on the transformation and how this recovery transformed others.

The first place winner was Hope Valiska of Meriden, Connecticut, who wrote about what it was like to be a child of addiction and recovery. The second place winner was, Dina Repinecz, who spoke of how Russ Wilson himself, played such a huge role in her recovery and third place was awarded to Karen Tachlykov, of Windsor Locks, who wrote a short piece titled, “Liquor Equals Liquid ER”. All three essays can be read in their entirety on the CCAR website, http://www.ccar.us.

Russ Wilson was a person in long-term recovery from alcohol addiction. He was a great father to his two daughters and had more than 7 years clean and sober. On June 28th, 2014, he lost his life suddenly at the age of 55 to a brain aneurysm. In his honor, the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) held this essay contest. It was the brain child of his close friend, CCAR Executive Director Phil Valentine. Russ’s two brothers, Dan and Mike and his sister Cheryl were judges for the essays and in a statement they said, “Our brother would be immensely proud of these brave essays. Like the winners, Russ had the courage to admit his own vulnerability and the strength to make difficult changes in himself. Like the winners, Hope, Dina and Karen, we honor his memory and continue the loving work he did so well”.

An awards ceremony was held on, Friday, March 6th at the Hartford Recovery Community Center where the winners received cash prizes for the entries.

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Yolibel Lebron
@CCAR4Recovery
since: 09/2013
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