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McShin Foundation wins national award

Henrico-based recovery organization honored in Washington, D.C.
Left to right – John Shinholser, president and co-founder of the McShin Foundation; Stefanie Gamez (daughter of Joel Hernandez); Tony Spencer, the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney; and Honesty Liller, McShin administrator, pose with the Joel Hernandez award.
Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Hazelden Foundation honored the Henrico-based McShin Foundation with the Joel Hernandez Award in Washington, D.C. last month.

Members of Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Hazelden Foundation Board of Directors present the award annually to one local, state, or regional recovery organization that recognizes the needs of the community and uses their resources to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term addiction recovery.

The McShin Foundation is a non-profit substance abuse recovery organization located in the basement of Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church in Lakeside. With only five staffers on duty, McShin hosts several peer recovery meetings and sessions a week from its church headquarters.

The foundation also provides housing and transportation options for recovering drug and alcohol abusers. McShin reaches out into the community by aiding local inmates on their journey to recovery and by influencing Virginia lawmakers to pass bills in support of alternative sentencing methods to incarceration.

On June 22, politicians, organization leaders and 20 McShin representatives, including president and co-founder John Shinholser, were among those in attendance during the ceremony held at the Washington Club in Dupont Circle.

The foundation was created by Shinholser and Carol McDaid in 2004. The couple, for whom the organization was named, previously earned the Vernon Johnson Award in 2004 and 2007. The Vernon Johnson Award honors those in long term substance addiction recovery and those who help future generations with recovery.

According to the foundation’s Executive Peer Coordinator Honesty Liller, McShin has been able to carry out its mission with limited resources and limited government funding. Both Liller and Shinholser pointed out that the foundation was still able to thrive and maintain a constant flow of people under these conditions, which made them such strong nominees for the award.

“We really didn’t get any help from anyone other than the people we serve. This is the first time in America that a non-funded agency got this award,” said Shinholser.

The McShin Foundation is what’s called a recovery community organization, or RCO, complete with halfway and transitional recovery houses and opiate detox. This RCO also connects itself with other programs that promote the long-term recovery of substance abusers, such as alcohol and drug rehab and substance abuse aftercare programs.

Shinholser added that one of the reasons that McShin stands out from other recovery centers is because members of its board of directors are from different pathways of recovery.

Many consider Joel Hernandez of Arizona a pivotal figure in the movement towards advocacy recovery. After quitting his job following a positive test for cocaine in the early 1990s, he then found out that he was permanently banned from employment at the company.

He took his case to the Supreme Court and won in a settlement. Hernandez continued to advocate recovery movement rights until his death five years ago.

Caroline County’s Commonwealth Attorney Tony Spencer spoke before the official presentation of the Joel Hernandez Award. Stefanie Gamez, daughter of the late Joel Hernandez, formally presented the McShin Foundation with the crystal trophy-piece.

“It was an honor to be recognized by Faces & Voices of Recovery and an honor for me to stand up as part of the McShin Foundation,” said McShin’s Volunteer Medical Director James Thompson, after attending the ceremony.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

Henrico native to appear on Travel Channel show


A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”

The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.

The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.

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Innsbrook After Hours will present John Hiatt and Robert Cray at 6 p.m. at the Snagajob Innsbrook Pavilion. Gates open at 5 p.m. General admission is $15. For details, visit… Full text

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