Giving Back and Looking Ahead

Alumnus Hutch S. puts his gratitude into action

Throughout his 19 years of sobriety and his travels to all corners of the world, Hutch S. has come to trust that help is always at hand.

"Every time I've found myself in a bad spot or at a fork in the road in my recovery, something happened that stopped me from picking up and going backward. I call it listening for the angels. They're always there for me."

As a grateful Hazelden alum, Hutch has continually found new ways to be there for others on their recovery journeys, too.

Reaching out

Early in his recovery, Hutch served as an alumni contact for patients who were completing treatment at Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota.

A few years later, as his business endeavors brought greater financial wherewithal, Hutch also began making monetary contributions to support patient care.

He came across another opportunity to offer his support after spending a winter renovating the family's lodge in a remote part of South Dakota. Hutch attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on the nearby Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate reservation where he saw, firsthand, the lack of resources and support for newcomers to recovery.

"When I came out of treatment, I was surrounded with a network of support and resources to help me build my sobriety. There weren't any such resources for these guys when they returned home after treatment," he explains. "They were going right back into the same environment."

The situation inspired Hutch to fund efforts that would expand the reach of effective recovery resources. He became an early supporter of Hazelden's web-based recovery management tools that provided anywhere, anytime access to help, guidance, fellowship and support.

Serving together

Today, as a charter member of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's new regional council in Naples, Florida, Hutch looks forward to his next chapter of giving back.

When Hutch purchased a home near Naples several years ago, he was heartened to see how Hazelden had become a hub for the area's recovery community. He saw how Hazelden was uniquely positioned to raise greater awareness about addiction and recovery.

"We have tremendous opportunities to build on Hazelden's foundation in Naples," Hutch observes. "My personal interests are in the areas of addiction prevention and recovery support, and it's been inspiring to hear ideas from other council members."

Although the Naples council has only held its first meeting, Hutch is enthused about the possibilities ahead.

Coming together in a new way

What started as a "wouldn't-it-be-great-if" conversation among a few donors and staff blossomed into creation of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's regional council last spring in Naples, Florida.

"The Naples council developed naturally, stemming from the enthusiasm of several key donors to raise awareness, ideas and dollars so more people have access to healing and hope," observes Betsy Farver Smith, vice president of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

"Plans are underway to establish councils in other key regions served by the Foundation," adds Farver Smith.

The regional councils are designed to support Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's efforts in both a financial and advisory capacity. While the concept is new to the Foundation as a whole, a philanthropic council has served the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, for more than 20 years. It's a model that first impressed the Foundation's leadership in 2014 when the Betty Ford Center and Hazelden merged to become the nation's largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider. Naples, along with Chicago, New England, New York, Springbrook, and Canada lead the way in the Foundation's transition from regional governing boards to regional philanthropic councils.

Are you hearing the call?

"As the Foundation's councils take shape across the country, each group will determine goals and priorities based on regional needs and interests," explains Farver Smith.

Individually and collectively, council members make a commitment to support the Foundation in a number of ways, promoting the organization's mission, vision, values and reach through fundraising, event planning and other promotional activities.

"If sharing the hope of recovery is your passion, serving on your region's council just might be an avenue for you to make a world of difference," says Farver Smith. "We would love to talk with you about the possibilities."

Please consider making a gift to help those suffering from addiction rediscover hope

For more information, please contact the Office of Philanthropy at 1-888-535-9485.

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