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Monday, December 19, 2016

Fourth Annual 80s Throwback Party

Proceeds Benefit Brighton Recovery Center for Women

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For the fourth year in a row, an 80s Throwback Party will be held at the Highland Country Club in Fort Thomas to benefit the Brighton Recovery Center for Women. The party will be on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for admission and includes a drink ticket, food, dancing, and free parking. There is a $30 additional upgrade fee, which is optional, at the door for the open bar.

RELATED: Connect With The Party Here (Facebook) 

The party fund raiser was started and is hosted by Katie Walters from Q102. Sponsors include Q102, Fort Thomas Matters, and MIX 94.9. Mark McFadden will be the DJ, spinning songs from when he was a DJ at The Conservatory, Waterfront, and The Glass Menagerie. There will be 80's themed raffles, food, and free parking. Fort Thomas Florist and Garden Center is donating huge palm trees for the dance. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at

Ultimate Air Shuttle is the Gold Sponsor for this year's party. 

Katie Walters, the Promotions Coordinator at WKRQ/Q102 FM Radio in Cincinnati, has been on the board of the Brighton Center for four years. This will be her fourth year planning this event. "This is definitely the party where you need to find a babysitter and come out and have fun! It started out fairly small, but now it's really grown. We have TV coverage, it's getting super popular, and we're raising a lot more money."

Photo from last year's 80s Throwback Dance

Everyone has fun at the 80s Throwback Dance

Katie says the Brighton Center, located in Florence, Kentucky, sends a bus of 15-20 women who have volunteered to help set up and decorate. "The women are wonderful! It takes about 6-1/2 hours to get everything set up and the Highland Country Club decorated."

Dan Schlarman, the general manager of the club, donates a nice, white tablecloth luncheon to the women who volunteered to help set up for the party.

Katie says, "The luncheon is a great female bonding experience and I have a great time talking and sharing experiences with the women from Brighton Center. These women really spoke to me. They're just like you, me, a sister, or a daughter and I felt the universe had called me to do something to help them, to give them a voice. This 80s Throwback Party is a great chance to relive all those memories of dancing in the 80s at all the popular dance venues in Cincinnati while doing a great thing for these women. I'm hoping everyone comes out."

She suggests people buy tickets online since tickets are limited and it's the first big party of the year. "It's the only party that benefits the Brighton Recovery Center for Women. Many people buy tickets even if they can't come and just think of it as a donation. The women voluntarily admit themselves to the Brighton Center and are desperate to change their lives. These are all local women who are in recovery, most of them for heroin addiction. Some of these women are college graduates, cheerleaders, they're not what people think. They're people who went through a bad time and made a bad choice. The stigma needs to go away so we can help each other."

"Anita Prater, the Director of the Brighton Center, is great. She's like a mother to all these women. The women love her because Anita gets it. The Brighton Center is so lucky to have her. You have to be a special person to have that job. I want to thank Anita Prater, Deana Sowders, and Becky Timberlake from Brighton Center and Mark Collier from Fort Thomas Matters for all their hard work and dedication to the success of the party."

Director, Anita Prater says, "We all have a quick image when it comes to addicts and alcoholics, but we don't know what that looks like in recovery. It's hard to pick out who's in recovery because they just look like you and me. The women are so grateful for everyone who donates money and time towards their recovery.We're also constantly in need of single bed comforters, pillows, umbrellas, personal hygiene items, socks, and mittens."
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Anita's job includes supporting staff on crisis issues, dealing with maintenance and property issues, attending meetings, writing grants, reports, and submitting a budget. Only four of the 15 recovery centers in Kentucky are for women since more men get involved in the judicial system and receive referrals. Also, according to Anita, society is less accepting of the fact women have issues and it gets covered up.

The Brighton Recovery Center is part of the Recovery Kentucky initiative. It was created to help people recover from substance abuse, which can often lead to chronic homelessness. The overall program is composed of four main components through which clients advance: The Safe, Off-the-Street (SOS) which introduces the client to the program in a supportive environment, then a motivational track where assessments are made on how to motivate the client to change their behavior and attitude through educational classes and AA/NA meetings, the third component is called "Phase 1" and includes learning responsibility and accountability to the overall community as well as working on completing classes and working on the 12 steps of the AA/NA meetings. In the last component (Phase 2), clients may become employed or may become peer mentors to others who are entering the recovery center.

The program is 9-12 months, depending on individual progress.

"When these women enter the program, most are broken with no self-confidence. The love and support is amazing from those that are already here."

One of these women is Jennifer Warfiele. Jennifer said the program is really special. This is her first time in recovery and she volunteered to help decorate Highlands Country Club for the 80 Throwback Dance.

"Katie was really good at explaining it to us and we had a lot of fun decorating the rooms. We got to know her and she got to know us. We had lunch by the golf course and it was very pretty. I would never have dreamed I would be where I am now. I have four daughters and had my own company. My doctor put me on pain pills and I got addicted to them really fast. I told my doctor it was making me feel bad, but he just said take one a day. I had to go to the streets. In six months I lost everything: kids, house, car, and company. We're good people. We don't choose this disease, it chooses us, it's a chemical addiction. For some people they get addicted right away to the pain pills or drugs they take. We go out of our way to do good things for each other because we have to live with what we've done so we try to make a difference every day."

This February, everyone can make a difference in these women's lives while reliving the fun and memories from the 80's. Fort Thomas Matters is proud to support this fundraiser and the lives it will change.

Bryan & Kimberly Carlisle
Greg Neal- Advanced Testing Laboratory
Doug & Cecily Fassler
Hosea Project Movers
Hofbrauhaus Newport
Fred Hamilton & Julie Klare- Hamilton Digital
Jeff Dapper- Dapper Landscape & Design
Mitch Messmer- Ft. Thomas Florist and Greenhouses
Lyndsey Longshore- Heidelberg Distributing Cincinnati
Judge Cameron Blau
Adam Blau- The Gas Hole Food Mart
Scott & Joy Layman- Putting for Parkinson’s

Mark McFadden, the popular DJ at the event.

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