Tag Archives: Alumni

Original Article: Green Hills News, Staff Writer, David Smith – February 22, 2017

Beloved Long-Haul Driver Bequeaths Home to Cumberland Heights Addiction Treatment Center
Beloved Long-Haul Driver Bequeaths Home to Cumberland Heights Addiction Treatment Center
A retired bus operator let it be know that upon his death he wanted to donate his home.

But Timothy Cotton, a retired bus operator who drove for major country music stars Tim McGraw, Conway Twitty, Alan Jackson, Kathy Mattea and the country music group Lonestar, also had a more pointed message: he wanted the success he achieved in life to be a tool for people needing help.

The home at Setliff Place in East Nashville sold this January generating $285,000, all of which was donated to Cumberland Heights, an addiction treatment center.

“This home holds a special place in our heart,” said Mallory Gibson, who, along with her husband, purchased the home. “Our family also lives on Setliff Place and we will now be able to raise our children within walking distance of each other. Tim was deeply committed to his family and his community, and we look forward to honoring that legacy in this beautiful home.”

Following the transaction, Cumberland Heights announced the creation of the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance. The fund is part of Cumberland Heights’ endowment and will provide financial assistance to patients who cannot afford treatment or do not have insurance to cover costs.

Cotton was himself a patient on a MusiCares scholarship.

“Tim Cotton was a generous soul who loved caring for others,” said Jay Crosson, chief executive officer at Cumberland Heights. “His incredible donation and the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance will help many, many people recover their life from drug and alcohol addiction. Tim’s memory will live on at Cumberland Heights in perpetuity.”

Cotton was renowned for his ability to make friends. He touched so many people in the Nashville recovery community that they organized aftercare meetings in his hospital room so he did not have to miss meetings.

After his death, Cotton’s sister Cathy Reisch, received numerous calls from former Cumberland Heights’ patients who had met Tim Cotton during treatment and were touched enough to call with condolences.

“The Cotton family is grateful to Bill Branch and Life Style Real Estate Advisors. Bill did more than donate his commission – he put his heart into this task, was very supportive to our entire family and dedicated a lot of time to make this sale happen for all the parties involved,” said Reisch.

Bill Branch of Life Style Real Estate Advisors served as broker and donated his commission because proceeds were being donated to Cumberland Heights.

Branch describes the experience as follows: “Tim Cotton loved his family, his home, and his neighborhood.”

Having worked with Cumberland Heights on several other real estate transactions to support their mission, it was immediately apparent to me that this was a very special situation. After meeting Tim’s sister Cathy Reisch for the first time, I wanted to be a part of helping to make Tim’s dreams and wishes for his home come true. We had two goals from the start: to raise as much money for Tim’s endowment to Cumberland Heights as possible through the sale of his home, and do as much as possible to find new stewards for the property that would love the home and the neighborhood as much as Tim did. On both counts, we succeeded beyond our hopes, and there will be many people benefiting from Tim’s beautiful heart and enormous generosity for years to come.”

Cotton was the 1991 Honoree for the Mary Catherine Strobel Award as Volunteer of the Year from Nashville CARES and trained HIV/AIDS volunteer.

Beloved long-time driver for music acts willed East Nashville home to Cumberland Heights

cumberland-heights-sets-up-the-timothy-cotton-fund-for-patient-assistance
Timothy Cotton

Cumberland Heights announces the creation of the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance that was made possible by sale of Tim Cotton’s home on Setliff Place in East Nashville.

Cotton was a former Cumberland Heights patient and long-time driver for many musical acts, including Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Lonestar, Kathy Mattea and Conway Twitty.

Cotton passed away in January 2016 and willed his Setliff Place home to Cumberland Heights. The home sold in January 2017. In total, the sale of Cotton’s home generated $285,000, all of which was donated to the fund.

“Tim Cotton was a generous soul who loved caring for others,” said Jay Crosson, chief executive officer at Cumberland Heights. “His incredible donation and the Timothy Cotton Fund for Patient Assistance will help many, many people recover life from drug and alcohol addiction. Tim’s memory will live on at Cumberland Heights in perpetuity.”

The fund is part of Cumberland Heights’ endowment and will provide financial assistance to patients who cannot afford treatment or do not have insurance that covers costs. Cotton was himself a patient on a MusiCares scholarship, so his gift back is especially meaningful.

“This home holds a special place in our heart,” said Mallory Gibson, who purchased this home with her husband. “Our family also lives on Setliff Place and we will now be able to raise our children within walking distance of each other. Tim was deeply committed to his family and his community, and we look forward to honoring that legacy in this beautiful home.”

Cotton was renowned for his ability to make friends. He touched so many people in the Nashville recovery community that they organized aftercare meetings in his hospital room so he did not have to miss meetings. After his death, Cotton’s sister Cathy Reisch received numerous calls from former Cumberland Heights’ patients who had met Tim during treatment and were touched enough to call with condolences.

Cotton was the 1991 Honoree for the Mary Catherine Strobel Award as Volunteer of the Year from Nashville CARES and trained HIV/AIDS volunteer.

Bill Branch of Life Style Real Estate Advisors served as broker donated his commission because proceeds were being donated to Cumberland Heights.

Branch describes the experience as follows: “Tim Cotton loved his family, his home, and his neighborhood. Having worked with Cumberland Heights on several other real estate transactions to support their mission, it was immediately apparent to me that this was a very special situation. After meeting Tim’s sister Cathy Reisch for the first time, I wanted to be a part of helping to make Tim’s dreams and wishes for his home come true. We had two goals from the start; 1) to raise as much money for Tim’s endowment to Cumberland Heights as possible through the sale of his home, and 2) do as much as possible to find new stewards for the property that would love the home and the neighborhood as much as Tim did. On both counts, we succeeded beyond our hopes, and there will be many people benefiting from Tim’s beautiful heart and enormous generosity for years to come.”

Cathy Reisch, said, “The Cotton family is grateful to Bill Branch and Life Style Real Estate Advisors. Bill did more than donate his commission – he put his heart into this task, was very supportive to our entire family and dedicated a lot of time to make this sale happen for all the parties involved.”

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.

Recovery is Possible

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Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.

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