A Typical Month at CORE
Some think that CORE is only about classes, can you believe it? Now, it is true, in any given week, we offer multiple recovery classes and groups, as well as classes and meetings dedicated to spirituality, HiSET, and our EDGE and CARE programs. But, CORE is a big place with lots going on depending on the month and season of the year. We are way more than just classes!
So, in keeping with holiday sharing, here we will highlight our program’s activities during a typical month at CORE. We’ll use this past month as an example.
Keep in mind that “CORE months” run roughly from one commencement ceremony to the next. Commencements are when clients graduate the one-year recovery program. So, we’ll start our tour with the commencements of September, and we will end with our commencements in October.
Our September 18th commencement was the last of our summer commencements, which we always hold out on Bull Creek, between Springfield and Branson. The summer commencements begin in May of each year and give everybody a chance to mingle, swim, and frolic in the sun. We always do a big outdoor barbeque, and September was no different. After everybody had their fill of hotdogs and burgers, the commencements started. In all, eleven (11) clients commenced in September. Each graduate came forward in succession and had family members and people from CORE speak on their behalf. All the speakers’ comments were heartfelt, especially when they were family. However, several of the CORE speakers trended toward the lighter side (a light-hearted roast, actually!) Upon completion of the commencements, the crowd’s attention turned to the river for the baptisms. Sixteen (16) people were baptized, turning their will and lives over to the care of our Lord Jesus. September’s commencement was attended by hundreds of clients, staff, and family members.
On October 1st, CORE participated in the Zombie Run at the Branson RecPlex! CrossFit Branson organized this event. The Reader may wonder, what is a Zombie Run, exactly? It’s what happens when you combine a 5K race with the undead, basically. Runners watch out! Scary zombies are on the loose! If caught, the runner has to do extra exercises in order to escape and continue racing. In addition to the race, there also was great food and a raffle to win really cool prizes. CORE is thankful to all of the runners and participants who made the event so fun and successful. We were well represented, and our people had a blast! See the pics of our scary zombies? We’re especially grateful to Sabrina King at CrossFit Branson for all of her hard work. We cannot express our gratitude enough!
Our softball team played its last game on October 6th. It had seen weekly action since August, when the season began for the Branson Church Softball League. Competition this season turned out to be stiffer than ever. After losing to a really tough opponent early in the season, our team buckled down and got busy. We went on an 11 – 0 run to finish and win the championship tournament. The championship game happened at the Branson RecPlex, and many CORE staff and clients showed up to cheer our team on to victory. We are so proud of their accomplishment! Our players walked off the field with heads held high, because they are league champions for the third season in a row. Here is a pic of our team on championship night. Our players are, Front Row: Josh Brown, Gavin Marler, Bracy Sams, Karen Barnes, Adam Guss, Adam Weaver, Josh Weaver, and Charlie Miller; Back Row: Nick Bates, Chris Brunner, Nick Brooks, Charles Kay, Justin Hampton, Paul Otis, Shaun Burke, Jeremy Hampton, Jeana Knous, and Gary Osborn.
On October 8th, CORE participated in the Hollister Grape and Fall Festival. Our people arrived in the wee hours of Saturday morning, mainly to organize and help vendors set up for the day. Thankfully, parking was not an issue, because one of our CORE ReStores is right there in downtown Hollister. By 6:00 a.m., all kinds of food trucks and local businesses, and craft vendors and nonprofits, arrived to Downing Street, which burst to life with activity. The local FFA had a petting zoo, too, drawing praise from several among our group (baby goats are cute). After setting up, our people enjoyed the festival’s activities. More than one returned home that day with a giant bag of kettle corn! CORE wishes to thank everybody who helped make this event so successful!
The following week, on October 13th, we had our Annual Shrimp & Crawfish boil. This is a highlight event on our calendar where the donors of CORE get together for the most awesome shrimp boil this side of the Mississippi. Guests enjoyed giant pots of yummy shrimp, crawfish, sausage, potatoes, corn, ghost peppers, and other good stuff!
CORE is especially thankful to those who sponsored the event: Mary Haas, Combs Hospitality, Second Baptist Church, First Community Bank, Ed’s Heating and Cooling, and many of our CORE houses! A big shout out also goes to HR Director Tami McKinney for organizing the event. Kudos to Bracy Sams, who formulated the perfect shrimp and crawfish recipe. Thank you also to Christos Papanikas, who oversaw preparation of an amazing stuffed tenderloin for allergy-challenged attendees. Also, our Second Milers stepped up to help serve food and drinks. Everybody chipped in to make this event successful, really, which was just about having fun!
October 27th also was a busy day at CORE. All of our staff and house managers descended upon our Branson recovery center for ethics training, which took up nearly the entire day and met all requirements for those of us who needed hours required by the Missouri Credentialing Board. The training happened in the main classroom. As the picture shows, the room was full! In the middle of the training we broke for lunch and had awesome pizza. Our own Bruce Wood provided the training. He’s not only a certified reciprocal alcohol and drug counselor but he also has so many designations after his name that they are too many to list. He did a great job of talking about professional ethics and how they apply at CORE.
On October 20th and 27th, we completed the CORE month by holding commencement ceremonies for our Springfield and Branson programs, respectively. Eight (8) clients in all commenced. Again, family members spoke and expressed their thanks to God for the miracle who is their loved one in recovery. The minor children of two clients also spoke and personally thanked CORE, which made everybody cry. These were happy events, although everybody in attendance understood that these graduations mark a new beginning for their loved ones in recovery.
So, these are just some of CORE’s activities over the past month. If we added individual house activities, we would run out of space to write!