April 25: Virtual ‘Climb Above Addiction’ event to raise awareness and support addiction prevention and recovery

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Uncle Steve Band will perform during the April 25 virtual ‘Climb Above Addiction’ fundraiser. Courtesy Photo

PLYMOUTH, NH – When faced with the challenge of how – or if – the third annual “Climb Above Addiction” event to support drug abuse prevention and recovery would go on this spring given the COVID-19 pandemic, Plymouth State University (PSU) social entrepreneurship students would not be deterred.

The students brainstormed how to transform the outdoor rock-climbing-focused fundraiser into a virtual event. “Climb Above Addiction” will take place Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature live music, interactive art, pet therapy, wellness and cooking workshops, meditation, yoga and a compelling lineup of speakers. The event will be hosted on the event website (www.climbaboveaddiction.com) where people can access all activities on the day of the event.

All proceeds from “Climb Above Addiction” will benefit prevention programs offered by Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-Free Youth (CADY) and support opportunities for recovery through rock climbing at The Plymouth House, a 12-step recovery retreat in Plymouth, New Hampshire.

People can participate in this year’s event as individuals, as sponsored “climbers” or as part of a sponsored team. Individual participants are asked to donate what they can – $5, $10, $20 (or more, if possible) at registration. Those who register as sponsored climbers or as part of a team will set fundraising goals and solicit donations from friends, family members or businesses.

“I am extremely proud of the students for rising to the significant challenge of re-imagining ‘Climb Above Addiction’ as a virtual event, which is so important to the work of CADY and The Plymouth House,” said Bonnie Bechard, Ed.D., Professor of Business, Plymouth State University. “While their entire semester was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, students rallied to create a full-day event featuring speakers, interactive programs and live music that is mindful of our cause, but will appeal to a broad audience. We hope people will invite family members and friends to join them for a truly inspiring virtual event, while supporting two important organizations.”

In 2018, the inaugural Climb Above Addiction event raised over $5,000 to provide  scholarships for addiction treatment at The Plymouth House;  in 2019, the event raised more than $10,000 for CADY.

The event will include:

  • Speakers: CADY Executive Director Deb Naro, The Plymouth House Executive Director Matt Howe, professional actress Brittany Irish and New Hampshire native Alex Berry, who is in recovery from heroin addiction
  • Live music featuring New Hampshire’s own Uncle Steve Band and Matt Luneau of the Elton John tribute band “Captain Fantastic”
  • Virtual yoga, meditation and prayer, and pet therapy
  • Rock climbing seminar and fitness workout
  • Interactive games, workshops, and Draw Along with artist Larry Frates
  • Interview and Q&A about COVID-19 with Kristen Williams, RN

“Climb Above Addiction 2019 completely surpassed our expectations, and with the creativity of Dr. Bechard’s Social Entrepreneurship team, we know this year’s virtual event will be just as fantastic,” said Emily Shanahan, Outreach Coordinator, CADY. “Now more than ever, so many people are feeling disconnected and isolated from friends and family, which can make them more vulnerable to substance misuse and mental health crises. This virtual event is creating a place where people can join together to participate in a long list of fun activities while supporting CADY’s mission to create safe, healthy, drug-free communities where kids can learn, grow and thrive.”

For the full event agenda, participant information, sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit www.climbaboveaddiction.com, or email climbaboveaddiction1@gmail.com. For more information about Plymouth State University, visit www.plymouth.edu.


About Plymouth State University: Established in 1871, Plymouth State University serves the state of New Hampshire and the world beyond by transforming our students through advanced practices where engaged learning produces well-educated undergraduates, and by providing graduate education that deepens and advances knowledge and enhances professional development. The Plymouth State Learning Model is organized around seven dynamic, theme-based hubs called “Integrated Clusters,” which emphasize open, integrative and project-based experiences. With distinction, we connect with community and business partners for economic development, technological advances, healthier living and cultural enrichment with a special commitment of service to the North Country and Lakes Region of New Hampshire. To learn more about Plymouth State University, visit www.plymouth.edu

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