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EX-ADDICTS, PROGRAMS GET AWARDS FOR ANTI-DRUG EFFORTS

Author(s): Matt Bai, Globe Staff Date: April 17, 1995 Page: 24 Section: METRO

It may not have been the Oscars, but the award winners at the Strand Theater in Dorchester on Saturday were coming off the performances of their lives. More than 40 recovering addicts and service providers were honored for starring and supporting roles in the struggle against substance abuse at the first-ever Boston Recovery Awards. More than 800 people turned out for the ceremony. Honorees received plaques, certificates and citations from the state House and Senate, Mayor Menino, City Council and the Congress. The awards are the creation of Pedro Munoz, 47, a recovering addict from Mattapan whose own bout with drugs and alcohol left him with kidney failure, requiring dialysis. Unable to work since going clean three years ago, Munoz devoted himself to showcasing some of the achievements of former addicts and those who helped them quit. "The purpose was to let mothers and fathers know that their children who are on drugs don't always have to be on drugs," Munoz said. "Even though they feel like their lives are wasted now, their lives may still be turned around." Beginning last August, Munoz went to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and gave out fliers soliciting nominees for the awards, which ranged from "Power of Example for Youth" to "Recovery's Person of the Year." He established a committee made up of 14 recovering addicts and service providers from different city neighborhoods. The committee received 500 nominations, he said. Munoz chipped in $500 of his own money to realize his dream. That amount plus a $1,000 donation from Alphonse Mourad, owner of the management company for the Mandela housing development in lower Roxbury, paid for the awards and rental of the theater. Local companies donated billboards, food, flowers and meeting space, he said, and City Councilor Gareth Saunders arranged for a free police detail. The total cost of the event and services provided would have approached $19,000, Munoz estimated. He hopes to make the awards an annual event. "A woman came up to me after and said, 'Now there's hope for my son,' " Munoz said yesterday. "If nothing else, that means something." The ceremony was attended by state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, state Rep. Gloria Fox, city councilors Saunders and Charles Yancey and representatives from the offices of US Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Menino. Among those honored were: Doris Bunte -- Outstanding Civic Contributions George Kenney -- AIDS Educator Nathaniel Joliey -- Exemplifying Spiritual Awareness Douglas Bell and Robert DeCoste -- Counselors of the Year Tony Ruiz -- Outstanding Social Contributions Suelin Jacques -- Person Who Displays Strength and Perseverance Rhoda Creamer -- Leadership James Sweeney -- Leadership Paul Benders -- Power of Example for Youth and Muhammad's Mosque of Islam No. 11 Recovering Person of the Year Gail Hearns -- Most Exemplifies the 24 Principles of Recovery Stephney Tucker Jr. and New Revelations -- Model for Community Service Gregory Davis -- Recovery's Person of the Year Kathern Baptists -- Recovery's Person of the Year Arthur "Chuckie" Stafford -- Soul Saving Station Church Recovering Person of the Year Anne Burns -- Saint John-Saint Hugh Parish Person Dedicated to Recovery Issues Clarence McGregor and Rev. Luis Aponte -- South End Neighborhood Church of the Emmanuel Person of the Year Rev. Edith Ross -- Greater Love Tabernacle



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