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HOPE Sheds Light breaks ground on new Butterfly Garden

The Ocean County nonprofit announces upcoming events open to the public

Toms River, NJ – HOPE Sheds Light, Inc., a Toms River-based non-profit organization dedicated to educating families on the disease of addiction, hosted a successful groundbreaking ceremony for its new butterfly garden on May 12th. The event featured onsite vendors, giveaways, kids’ activities and yoga. Freeholders Joseph Vicari and Virginia E. “Ginny” Haines, Toms River Council President Brian S. Kubiel, Toms River Councilman Maurice B. Hill, Jr. and Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little gave opening remarks.

“We are going to find hope and we are not going to settle for despair,” said Freeholder Vicari. “We are going to win this battle. We are here to let you know that we understand your plight. Let’s continue to fight hard and be part of this great crusade.”

The garden plans were designed by Lee Webb, President of FWH Associates, P.A., in Toms River. “This new butterfly garden will be a place to reflect and remember… a place to find peace, beauty and solitude,” said Stephen Willis, Co-founder of HOPE Sheds Light.” Featuring a Zen-like atmosphere for walking or sitting, the garden will be constructed and planted with flora that attract the most beautiful of butterflies to act as a symbol of transformation.”

Looking to the future, HOPE Sheds Light will lead into the summer season with a host of events that include the OceanFirst Charity Challenge, a special appearance by Mike “The Inspiration” Sorrentino, the NJ Recovery Film Festival and the 5th Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk.

OceanFirst Charity Challenge Now Open

“We’re excited to announce that we’re a part of the 5th Annual OceanFirst Charity Challenge,” said Pamela Capaci, Chief Executive Officer of HOPE Sheds Light. “This is the fourth year that HOPE Sheds Light is participating and we are grateful to the OceanFirst Foundation for launching this fundraising campaign to help benefit all the wonderful nonprofits along the Jersey Shore.”

A total of $30,000 will be given away to organizations in the Challenge. The organization that raises the most will receive a $20,000 donation. Second place gets $7,500 and third place gets $2,500. The challenge ends on June 12th.

To donate to HOPE Sheds Light’s fundraiser, visit https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/hopeshedslight-oceanfirstchallenge2018/hopeshedslight

From “The Situation” to “The Inspiration”

Mike Sorrentino will speak at the Finding HOPE For Life Support Group on Tuesday, May 22nd from 7pm to 8:30pm at Holy Cross Lutheran Church located at 1500 Hooper Avenue in Toms River.

Sorrentino, 35, rose to fame as a hard-partying character on the MTV show “Jersey Shore.” The show wrapped in 2012 while the New Jersey native was battling a prescription painkiller addiction. Five years and two trips to rehab later, Sorrentino is now clean. He credits the Discovery Institute and fiancé, Lauren Pesce, for giving him the support necessary to find recovery.

Meet Mike at HOPE Sheds Light’s support group on May 22nd as he shares his journey. Mike will also be speaking at the NJ Recovery Film Festival on June 2nd.

NJ Recovery Film Festival Coming Soon

Prevention Links, Capacity Images and HOPE Sheds Light are proud to present the 2nd Annual New Jersey Experience Strength, Hope, Recovery Film Festival on June 2nd at the Grunin Center for the Arts (1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754).

This year, the festival will honor commitment developing the festival as a statewide resource to support all efforts taking place throughout New Jersey that destigmatize the disease of addiction and highlight the HOPE found through recovery.

The film festival will showcase films that tell honest stories about the Experience, Strength and Hope discovered on the journey from addiction to recovery. One of the films, “The Girl Next Door”, features HOPE Sheds Light and its Co-founder Stephen Willis. The 22-minute documentary explores the drug epidemic facing Ocean County from the perspective of a neighbor who recently lost her childhood friend to a heroin overdose.

Mike Sorrentino from the MTV show “Jersey Shore”, will also be a guest speaker at the film festival. To learn more or to purchase tickets to the New Jersey Recovery Film Festival, visit http://www.filmfreeway.com/RecoveryFilmFestival/tickets.

Register for the 5th Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk

The 5th Annual Celebration of HOPE Walk, presented by HOPE Sheds Light, will take place on Saturday, September 8th on the Hiering Avenue Beach in Seaside Heights. Registration is $10 and all registrants receive a free t-shirt.

The annual event features entertainment, vendors and inspirational speakers. Start or join a team, or register individually to support HOPE Sheds Light in its mission to educate individuals, families and the community about the disease of addiction and to provide hope and resources for recovery. To register or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.HOPEShedsLight.org/walk.

About HOPE Sheds Light

HOPE Sheds Light, Inc. is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID: 46-3910504) that is supported by friends and families directly affected by addiction and found recovery through continuous love, support and understanding. The mission of HOPE Sheds Light is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the impact of addiction by having the courage to share personal experiences and offer strength, wisdom, hope and resources that lead to positive community change and long-term recovery. To learn more, please visit http://www.HOPEShedsLight.org.

The groundbreaking of HOPE Sheds Light’s new butterfly garden took place on Saturday, May 12th. Pictured from left: Lee Webb, Stephen Willis, Arvo Prima and Ron Rosetto.

The groundbreaking of HOPE Sheds Light’s new butterfly garden took place on Saturday, May 12th. Pictured from left: Lee Webb, Stephen Willis, Arvo Prima and Ron Rosetto.

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