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Art show will benefit Living Free’s addiction services

After facing addiction and finding the road to recovery herself, Pahrump resident Shelley Poerio made a decision that changed not just her life, but one that has changed the lives of dozens of others – she founded Living Free Health and Fitness, a nonprofit dedicated to treating addiction with whole-health solutions.

Today, the organization is running strong and Poerio is doing all she can to keep the momentum going. As part of her effort to raise both awareness about her nonprofit’s mission and the cash to fund that mission, she and her team have been hard at work preparing for Living Free’s very first public fundraiser, which is set to take place next Saturday, Oct. 15.

“There is still time to sponsor and buy tickets to Living Free Health’s inaugural ‘Art for Recovery’ Auction fundraiser,” Poerio told the Pahrump Valley Times this week. “I promise you, this will be a very moving experience and we expect to see some tears of joy from attending family members on behalf of their loved ones. We even have two mothers from the women and children’s house speaking and their children will be in attendance.”

The event will take place at the Pahrump Nugget and doors will open at 5 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the program kicks off at 6:45 p.m. with testimonies from clients and employees, all of whom are currently in or have graduated from Living Free’s treatment and/or sober living program.

Poerio explained that the funding generated through the Art for Recovery auction will be used to underwrite the free and discounted treatment programs provided by Living Free, as well as for other purposes.

“Other uses of the funds include the adolescent after-school truancy program, buying food, undergarments and personal hygiene products for new admission clients and providing assistance to other local nonprofits whose work dovetails with ours in helping our community members get and stay clean and sober,” Poerio detailed. “Our agency spends tremendous resources in transporting our clients to meet their health, medical and living needs, as well. We also dedicate office space to sober social support and babysitting, and our women and children’s program.

“As you can imagine, despite our having won some grants and getting Medicaid dollars for treatment, there are many expenses and needs that are not reimbursed,” she continued. “And without our faithful donors, many would fall through the cracks. Living Free never hesitates in saying ‘yes’ to helping make our clients and the community whole. We provide the hand-up so that they may become healthy, happy, productive members of their families and community. What we see is that, eventually, such success stories become ambassadors of recovery and find ways they can pay it forward.”

There are already more than half a dozen sponsors for the event, including Shadow Mountain Construction, 2nd Amendment Guns and Range, Matt Sadler with Patriot Podcast, Pahrump Valley Heating and Air, Chad Goins Farmer’s Insurance Agency, Nevada Realty Realtor Tasha Douglas and the Nevada Realty Agency, Bolton Vines LLC and Paul Healey and Sons CPA.

“We also have had a large number of donors who are unable to attend, as well as ticket-buyers intent upon joining the fun and committed to purchasing art, or getting involved in the 50/50 raffle. Join them and us as we listen to stories of redemption, hope, life-change and success. Be inspired. See how our agency is making a huge difference in rural Nevada. Addiction is probably the biggest law enforcement-related and health problem our community faces. We need your help to get people on the right track and keep them there!”

Tickets for the Art for Recovery Auction are $75 each.

For more information or to purchase tickets, stop by Living Free Cafe at 2050 Highway 160, Suite 400, email Shelley@LivingFreeHealth.org or call 775-505-1625.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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