Gateway to Discovery to hold drive-thru fundraiser

-Messenger file photo
Gateway to Discovery graduate Lillie Weir celebrated over two years sober from meth in July, the longest the 21-year-old has been sober since she started using at age 13. The organization is holding a fundraiser Nov. 6-7 to support the program to help women overcome addictions.

Gateway to Discovery’s sweets fundraiser is making changes this year as it adapts to pandemic challenges.

This year’s fundraiser, a Sweet Treat Drive Thru, will be held at Hope Sweet Hope Studios, 1900 Fifth Ave. S. For $20, patrons will receive a box full of sweet, handmade treats from local vendors. Those wishing to support the organization can stop by from noon to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8

Gateway to Discovery’s fundraiser will no longer be held at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

In addition to the drive thru, the non-profit will be holding three Facebook silent auctions, with three separate rounds over the first three weeks of November.

Raffle items this year will be available starting Monday, Nov. 2 at noon. Raffle tickets can be purchased during studio hours any time for $5 until Nov. 30.

Gateway to Discovery helps women struggling with addiction through a two-year residency program. In addition to providing treatment, classes and a safe living environment away from old social circles rife with substance abuse, the Gateway to Discovery program funds graduates with a humble stipend. Participants also help run the Hope Sweet Hope Studios shop.

In exchange for agreeing to not go out to work, but instead devote their full attention to recovery, each week participants receive $25, and have another $15 socked away into a savings account they can access when they graduate. Modeled after a program in Tennessee, the savings account helps graduates get a fresh start in life as they move out of the group home to reestablish their lives.

This year’s proud graduates include three women with remarkable stories of hope on their successful journey away from addiction.

Lillie Weir, a 21-year-old college student, reclaimed her life through the program after breaking an addiction to methamphetamine that started at age 14. By successfully completing the program, she has found fulfillment that has helped her reclaim the childhood that meth robbed her of. Now, she knows how to enjoy life without a chemical high.

It took a few more tries for graduate Sara Godinez, a 35-year-old mother, to get her life back on track. Gateway to Discovery was the last chance that stuck. She tried to get sober at least 15 times, starting when she was just 17.

The child of methamphetamine addicts, Godinez turned to alcohol early on in lieu of drugs to avoid the same fate that tore her family apart. Her paternal grandfather and six of his seven brothers died of cirrhosis of the liver.

Gateway to Discovery was the only program that would still take her, finally breaking the chain that tore her family apart — for good.

After losing everything by the time she was in her 40s, graduate Mary Wild also found unique success in Gateway to Discovery’s faith-based program that worked for her, unlike other attempts through treatment programs.

“I never knew how to live life on life’s terms. I knew I needed help,” said Wild. “But I didn’t know what kind of help I needed. I didn’t necessarily know I had a drinking problem — I just didn’t know how to live life.”

Now with a sisterhood of emotional support bolstering sobriety’s success, she couldn’t imagine life any other way.

If You Go

What: Gateway to Discovery fundraiser ‘Sweet Treat Drive Thru”

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7

Where: Hope Sweet Hope Studios. 1900 Fifth Ave. S.


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