Five members of lower Fairfield County communities were honored with Spirit of Hope Awards at the May 10 fifth annual Spirit of Hope Benefit, featuring guest speaker Bill Mitchell of Westport. The five honorees being recognized for making their communities a better place are Maureen Hughes of New Canaan; Emile Jacques and Alice Melly of Greenwich; and Ed Pollak and Former State Rep. Christel Truglia of Stamford.

"Liberation Programs is a non-profit organization with a mission to empower people to be free of the disease of addiction and all of these honorees have dedicated years of service to the organization," event co-chairmen Elizabeth Needham and Katrina Bishoff said.

"I have personally observed liberation programs progress and development with great pride, over many years," Truglia said. "I have seen this organization respond with good sense, expertise and unflagging dedication. I know how they exemplify the true spirit of hope by caring for those in need."

On a recent visit to Liberation Programs Families in Recovery, Guest speaker Bill Mitchell shared a message with the women in the program.

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"Recovery is ongoing and no matter how many years someone has been clean and sober ... it's always going to be one day at a time," he said. "That's why it is so important to support anyone who is still struggling because that struggle will always be a part of their life. Having someone support you makes it work, but you have to put yourself first. You take it one day at a time and you build a sober life."

The Spirit of Hope event featured dinner and awards. A drawing included various-themed baskets such as game night, kids birthday, pampered pooch, family movie night, date night, it's all about her, it's all about him and a spa basket.

Liberation Programs, Inc. is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to providing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in Fairfield County. Its mission is to empower people and their families to be free of the disease of addiction by providing targeted solutions that restore lives and strengthen the community. For more information, visit