Citizens for Addiction Recovery and Education (C.A.R.E.) held its first-ever Valentine Dinner and Dance recently at the Church of Christ in Kent. The event featured a "Lady and the Tramp" theme.
The evening included Italian fare provided by Emma Marie's Italian Restaurant and Guido's Pizza and Catering of Ravenna, both ongoing supporters of C.A.R.E. Desserts were provided through C.A.R.E. board members and the Mental Health Board.
Raffled items included a golf package from Kent State Golf Course and a leather handbag with Nautica sunglasses, along with spa certificates and door prizes.
The festivities were topped off with music provided by Steve Cipriano of Cipriano Productions.
The event organizers said they considered the evening a success, raising just under $2,000 to benefit the Root House, a residential treatment facility for adult males in Portage County.
Valerie Root and Jeremy Taugner, co-founders of C.A.R.E., teamed up after the death of Mike and Valerie Root's son, Damian, due to an overdose. Taugner was on the road to his own recovery when they found each other working toward the same goal.
With the help of the Portage County Mental Health Board, Family & Community Services Inc., local community members, and many other agencies and organizations, their dream has become a reality.
Sue Whitehurst, executive director of Townhall II, helped get C.A.R.E.'s first event together, the Rally For Recovery, in November 2011 on the lawn of the Portage County Courthouse in Ravenna.
"We are already planning next year's event for Feb. 14, 2014, with a larger venue in mind so tickets won't be so limited," said Valerie.
The Root House is still in need of a few room adoptees and other donations. To find out about or help in this effort, call Francine Packard at 330-677-4134, ext. 26, or Jodie Klase at 330-297-7027, ext. 371, at Family & Community Services.