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Community leaders in attendance to show support
Reformers Unanimous, and local community leaders, gathered April 16 to dedicate their Mens School of Discipleship, a faith-based rehabilitation facility. The event recognized a man who has dedicated more than 35 years of service in the Rockford area. The dedication ceremony included the presentation of a commemorative plaque, addresses from community leaders, and a naming ceremony.
The 32,000-square-foot building includes facilities for 100 men, a high-tech auditorium, full commercial kitchen, and lodging for visiting family members. It also has a beautiful courtyard and offices for staff of Reformers Unanimous.
Reformers Unanimous International (RUI) began in April of 1996 right here in Rockford. To date, there are more than 500 member organizations around the world using the program format and curriculum to meet the needs of the addicted in their communities. Each week, these chapters serve an average of 32,000 people who are affected by addictions, and incorporate the help of more than 5,000 volunteers.
Since its inception, RUI has worked to improve the quality of life for Rockford citizens by providing an array of services for those suffering from the effects of addictions. The Rockford outpatient class averages 300 in attendance each Friday night, and also provides services for approximately 70 people per week at the Rockford Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army and the Winnebago County Jail.
In 2001, RUI opened a residential treatment program for men struggling with addictions. In 2003, RUI added a home for women. Since opening these homes, RUI has enjoyed an 82 percent overall success rate of sobriety, an 89 percent record of employment, an 82 percent record of restoring family relationships with spouses and children, and 78 percent still attend a support group. Of the students who attend the weekly outpatient classes and complete the program, 70 percent of them experience ongoing sobriety.
RUI not only improves the individuals prospects for personal achievement, but it also contributes to the long-term stability and safety of the community. In 2005, steady growth increased demand, and the Schools of Discipleship were quickly filled to capacity, demanding a larger facility to meet the ever-increasing need of the addicted. The need was met through the miraculous donation of a 100-bed facility that was formerly a convalescent home! This event will be a formal dedication of the building, and recognition of the contributions of community leaders to this program.
Many local leaders were present to show their support for the Reformers Unanimous Program. Those in attendance included U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, state Sen. Dave Syverson, state Sen. Brad Burzyski, Scott Christiansen (Chairman of the Winnebago County Board), Paul Logli (states attorney), Richard Meyers (Winnebago County Sheriff), Frank Beach (Alderman) and Bill Timm (Alderman), State Rep. Dave Winters, State Rep. Ron Wait, District County Rep. Ray Graceffa, District County Rep. Angie Goral, Director of Corrections Andrea Tack, County Alternate Program Commissioner Perry Weatherford, V.P. County Alternate Program Barb Nelson, and Deputy County Administrator Earl Dotson Jr.
from the May 2-8, 2007, issue