On Dec. 10, 2019, Message Carriers of Pennsylvania held the 17th Annual Tree of Life Celebration at PETRA International Ministries in Penn Hills. This year’s Tree of Life awardee is Janice Meinert, MSW, Paralegal in the Pittsburgh Office of the PA Health Law Project, and Message Carriers Advisory Board Member.
Through the Tree of Life, Message Carriers is seeking constituency building by promoting advocacy awareness projects; challenges stigma and recognizes individuals who have made an impact in the struggle against alcohol and other drug use. The Tree of Life also provides a special opportunity to remember and commemorate those who have lost their lives to this misunderstood illness.
The event featured words of support from Steve Choder, Message Carriers Board Member and person in long-term recovery. Elder George Flemings of Allegheny Family Network, gave a message of hope. Joann Cyganovich, Message Carriers Board Member, passed the torch to the 2019 Tree of Life awardee, Janice Meinert. Minister Valerie Hillard, provided two musical selections. The event closed with a recovery countdown, which started with an applause for everyone with 40 years or more of clean time, and ended with an applause for everyone with 24 hours or less.