The annual Reaching New Heights Luncheon to benefit nonprofit Cumberland Heights was held at Nashville’s Hillwood Country Club. This year’s guest speaker was Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle.

The popular fundraiser for the alcohol and drug-addiction recovery center was co-chaired by Grace Clayton and Kathleen Estes, with a committee of about three-dozen volunteers working on the event—including a Gentlemen’s Committee.

2017 Reaching New Heights Luncheon Photos

By: Mary Beth McCauley, Staff Writer at University of Tennessee Daily Beacon Feb 9, 2017 — Updated Feb 13, 2017

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour

Knoxville (Tennessee) had the chance to get up close and personal with Justin Furstenfeld, the lead vocalist of alternative rock group Blue October, at the Square Room in Market Square this past Wednesday.

People can change: Justin Furstenfeld's unique approach to his book tour
People can change: Justin Furstenfeld’s (of Blue October) unique approach to his book tour and his story of recovery

Furstenfeld has been traveling to cities across the country to promote his book, “Crazy Making: The Words and Lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld to the Music of Blue October.” The “Open Book Tour” also gives Furstenfeld the opportunity to share stories regarding his struggle with addiction, depression and relationships along with playing an acoustic set in front of a small, intimate audience.

He kicked off the evening with “The Answer,” the title track of Blue October’s first album, and began to tell the audience about his own personal journey, starting with his teenage years. Furstenfeld led his first band called The Last Wish at only 15 years old, the age that he was officially diagnosed with depression. When the Last Wish split up, Furstenfeld went on to create Blue October.

Although Furstenfeld was raw and honest with the crowd, he told his stories with such charisma and humor that throughout the heartfelt details we were all laughing and smiling. He often reminded the crowd, “This is the open book tour. No holding back.” The auditorium felt like a room full of friends, a safe space to share their darkest secrets.

Furstenfeld played a few other songs from Blue October’s debut album, such as “Black Orchid” and “Breakfast After 10.” In these, the audience learned of his first love, Mamie, and how he forgot her birthday after two years of dating. His belated birthday song to her was “Calling You,” the song that scored Blue October a record deal.

He told the audience about his band’s first 15-passenger tour van — and their second one, and their third. He walked us down the path that began his drug addiction, partying on tour every night in hotel rooms and bars. During this same time, Furstenfeld met his first wife and had his first child, a baby girl named Blue, and that changed everything for him. The audience sat quietly absorbing every detail and feeling every emotion as he told his story.

He bravely shared the details of his divorce, the custody battle for his daughter and his spiral back into addiction. And, through all of these hardships, he continued to make music.

Furstenfeld pieced together all of the major events in his life one by one and sang us the songs that stemmed from those events, making them even more meaningful and emotional for the audience, many of which were already huge fans of Blue October.

Towards the end of the evening, Furstenfeld shared his redemption story. He went through a 75-day program at Cumberland Heights, a rehabilitation center in Nashville, and found his faith there. He has been sober for four years now. The audience cried, clapped and cheered for him, all rising to their feet in applause. Furstenfeld truly was an open book, and told his story bravely without shame, but with hope.

After the show, Furstenfeld took time to meet his fans, shaking hands and signing posters, all with a smile on his face. His merchandise sports the phrase “People Can Change,” the perfect summary of his journey thus far.

Nationally Recognized Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center Begins Its Year of Celebrating Half a Century of Helping People to Recover Life

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Feb. 17, 2016 – Cumberland Heights drug and alcohol rehabilitation center will spend much of 2016 celebrating its 50th Anniversary and highlighting success stories from thousands of Nashvillians who have received treatment.

50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after "sober coins" that are a fixture of recovery.
50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after “sober coins” that are a fixture of recovery.

“We are honored and proud to have been a trusted provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment for five decades,” said Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights. “Fifty years of experience brings us so many positive examples of helping patients and their families – we hope to be able to share some of these with the community throughout the year.”

In addition to events, Cumberland Heights will open a new intensive outpatient facility on Music Row in Nashville, expand its “Recover Life” communications campaign, produce a 50th Anniversary booklet and increase outreach in various ways.

The official kick-off event took place today with a staff-wide, kick-off party and Coin Ceremony where staff and board members received 50th Anniversary commemorative coins modeled after “sober coins” that are a fixture of recovery.

 

50th Anniversary Events and Initiatives Planned To Date Include:

  • Feb. 13 – Alumni distribute “Valentine kits” to homeless community
  • Feb. 17 – staff Kick-Off Party and Coin Ceremony
  • All year – “Recover Life” campaign, story sharing and commemoration coins
  • 50th Anniversary history booklet release
  • April 6 – “The Women’s Luncheon” with speaker Liz Murray, best-selling author of “Breaking Night” on which “Homeless to Harvard” was based
  • May Opening of Music Row IOP (Date TBD)
  • Sept. 17 – Alumni & Staff Picnic with guest speaker Paul Williams
  • Fall – Fundraising Concert at the Ryman (Date TBD)
  • Fall – “Shelter at the Pond” commemoration ceremony (Date TBD)
  • December – Endowment Society Reception

Patients’ families are often included in the recovery process because success depends on a strong support system once they leave Cumberland Heights. “That’s why,” Crosson says, “friends and family are included in many of our 50th Anniversary events.”

New Intensive Outpatient Treatment Facility

Cumberland Heights has had a longstanding relationship with the Nashville music industry. However, it has never had a facility on Music Row. That will change in May when Cumberland Heights opens its first Music Row intensive outpatient facility on 17th Ave. South.

“Recover Life” Campaign

Cumberland Heights recently launched a multi-channel communications campaign called “Recover Life.” The campaign features staff members holding sober coins and saying how many years they have been sober. This month, the campaign expands to include other alumni as well as the families of patients.

A Quick History

Fifty years ago, Robert Crichton Sr. and his personal physician, Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., recognized an unmet need in Middle Tennessee and had a dream. They saw friends, neighbors and patients who were suffering from alcoholism and the disease of addiction. They had a vision of an accessible treatment facility in Nashville. They found a beautiful farm located on rolling hills along the banks of the Cumberland River and said, “What if?” They were, indeed, their brother’s keeper.

It is notable that the charter of incorporation established Cumberland Heights as a private, not-for-profit organization. The founders’ mission was to provide hope and restore patients to the full life of recovery – not to attain personal gain.

Starting with a few alcoholic men, Cumberland Heights gradually expanded to treat women, adolescents and families. Cumberland Heights was a pioneer of 12-Step-based recovery in Middle Tennessee and is now widely recognized and respected as one of the top treatment facilities in America. Cumberland Heights is still true to its original core values that the patient comes first and its greatest assets are its alumni, staff and campuses.

About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding.

For six years, Jason Isbell was drunk at every show he played.

During his tenure with beloved Southern rockers Drive-By Truckers, Isbell planned his drinking to keep him on his feet for the duration of the band’s marathon live shows – barely.

Something More Than Free: Jason Isbell's Journey to His Most Popular Album | Grammy Awards 2016, Individual Class“I had it timed where, by the very end of the show, I’d done just about all I could do standing up,” he told NPR in 2013. “I knew I needed two or three before I went on, and then during the show, we’d just pass a bottle around between the band.” The routine totaled about a fifth of Jack Daniels per show.

And Jack and Jason didn’t get along well: “Some people get drunk and become kind of sweet,” Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers founder and singer-songwriter, told The New York Times Magazine in 2013. “Jason wasn’t one of those people.” It didn’t help that the younger Isbell, a virtuoso guitarist with a proclivity for fast and fiery licks, was also a stellar songwriter, whose finely wrought and frequently heartbreaking character sketches were obviously on par with those of the older and principal Truckers, Hood and guitarist/singer-songwriter Mike Cooley. Isbell, who also managed to marry and divorce then-Truckers bassist Shonna Tucker during his time with the band, left in 2007. At the time, it was portrayed as amicable; in 2013, Isbell revealed he’d been forced out, mostly because of his drinking.

After his dismissal from DBT, Isbell went off the rails a little bit. He was arrested for public drunkenness and at one point accused Dierks Bentley of plagiarizing one of his songs on Twitter. He knew he needed help, and told his then-girlfriend, fellow musician Amanda Shires, he had to go to rehab. Unfortunately, both times he said it, he was drunk. “I only got to do that twice, I think,” he told NPR. The second time, Shires told him, “You’re telling the wrong person.”

Isbell got the message, and in February 2012, spent two weeks in Cumberland Heights, a rehab center in Nashville. Coming out, he started playing live again, dropped 40 lbs. and started writing the songs that would make up 2013’sSoutheastern. That September, Isbell’s song “Alabama Pines” won song of the year at the Americana Music Awards, kick-starting a wave of critical appreciation that Southeastern built upon when it was released in July 2013. The album contains Isbell’s most-streamed song on Spotify, “Cover Me Up,” and the devastating “Elephant” – coined by one music writer as “the saddest song of the millennium” – a quiet ballad about a cancer patient that concludes, “no one dies with dignity.”

Isbell toured steadily behind Southeastern, backed by a crack band named the 400 Unit – after the psychiatric ward of a hospital near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where Isbell grew up – that included his now-wife Shires. (“She has a big conscience, a big heart,” he told Rolling Stone in 2013. “Essentially, she’s just a good person.”)

Southeastern was rewarded with a near-sweep at the 2014 Americana Music Awards that saw Isbell take the honors for album, song (“Cover Me Up”) and artist of the year. But none of that weighed on his mind when he returned to the studio for his follow-up, 2015’s Something More Than Free. “I have so many people ask me… ‘Did you feel pressure to follow up Southeastern?” Isbell told Stereogum in 2015. “That same question every damn time! No, that’s not an actual problem to have. I know people who can’t pay their f—ing bills. Following up a successful piece of work with another piece of work is the most ridiculous first-world problem I can think of.”

Sure enough, Something More Than Free was a mature, confident continuation of the work Isbell started with Southeastern. Anchored by the stellar lead single, “24 Frames,” it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Rock, Top Country Albums and Top Folk Albums charts, and No. 5 on the Billboard200. By way of comparison, Southeastern peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard200.

NASHVILLE, TENN. – (November 12, 2015) – Cumberland Heights drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has launched a new advertising campaign with the theme of “Recover Life.”

The first part of the campaign features staff living lives in recovery. In the ad, the staff members hold up a Cumberland Heights sober coin while saying how many years they have been in recovery. Sober coins are common symbols of years living in recovery.

Helping someone recover their life from the grips of addiction is the most important benefit we provide our patients – and their families,” said Martha Farabee, chief development and marketing officer. “We wanted the campaign to reflect our success and our expertise in helping people live a life free from drugs and alcohol. With many of our staff members living successfully in recovery, they are role models for patients and able to build trust that is crucial for the recovery process.”

Farabee said the integrated marketing campaign targets primarily the families of those struggling with addiction, as well as targeting the patient.

“Cumberland Heights includes patients’ families in the process because success depends on a strong support system once they leave our facilities,” said Farabee.

Future ads in this campaign will feature alumni and alumni families. The Cumberland Heights alumni association has more than 10,000 members in the Nashville area.

We’re proud to have served Nashville for nearly 50 years,” said Jay Crosson, CEO of Cumberland Heights. “Having been a trusted member of the community for so long, our best source of referrals is from our many alumni – or friends and family of our alumni. Next year will be Cumberland Heights’ 50th anniversary and this new campaign is the beginning of that recognition.”

One of the campaign’s consistent visuals is a coin noting the 50th anniversary. This coin is modeled after the concept of sober coins.

The ads will placed on television, billboards, radio, in print and on various digital channels in middle Tennessee.

About Cumberland Heights

Cumberland Heights’ mission is to transform lives, giving hope and healing to those affected by alcohol or drug addiction. As a non-profit organization, Cumberland Heights is committed to the approximately 2,500 men, women and adolescents it serves every year and the communities where its facilities are located. The organization has followed the teachings of the 12 Steps since its founding.


RECOVER LIFE TELEVISION ADS




RECOVER LIFE PRINT ADS

Jamie J.
I recovered life 7 years ago.

Porter A.
I recovered life 3 years ago.

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