BUCYRUS — At least 20 local people are in top-notch drug and alcohol treatment facilities today because of an event that happened on Saturday in Crawford County.
Ken Fraser knows first-hand what it is like to battle addiction and now he is using his experience to help others.
Fraser, a recovering alcoholic of 26 years, joined forces with his daughter and Colonel Crawford graduate Shanna Fetters, and his ex-wife Robin Pangallo and her husband, Butch, to host the G.R.A.C.E. (Give Recovery A Chance Everyday) event at Suburban Lanes on Saturday. Butch Pangallo is the manager of the alley while Robin Pangallo operates the restaurant area of the business.
“We estimate between 300 and 400 people showed up for the event. Crawford County is an amazing community with lots of wonderful people who step up to help those in need,” said Fraser.
Fraser once lived in the Richland County area but now resides in Florida. Four months ago, he became the director of outreach for Beachside Rehab in Fort Pierce, Florida.
“Beachside provided four scholarships to local residents so they could be admitted into rehab. Several other top-notch treatment facilities in Florida and Ohio also provided free scholarships,” Fraser said. “We are hoping more treatment facilities jump on board in the future.”
Fraser said that as news of the event spread a few months ago, the first Crawford County resident was sent to rehab at Beachside.
“A young man named Chris contacted us and said he needed rehab right away or he was going to die. We made the arrangements and placed him at Beachside. He is doing really great,” Fraser said.
Fraser said the average cost for treatment at Beachside and similar rehab facilities is around $33,000 per month.
“Many need to be admitted to a detox facility first and that costs around $3,500 for three days and some have to stay longer. Chris needed seven days of detox,” Fraser said.
Fraser said various organizations were on hand at Saturday’s event and assisted in booking flights and driving people to the airport to travel to treatment.
“The effort from the local community was amazing. Bucyrus Police Chief Dave Koepke is a wonderful person. He brought a young lady to us who is pregnant and in dire need of treatment. We were able to get her a placement and she was on her way to treatment that night. Chief Koepke was at the event from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at night. He is very dedicated to getting people the help they need to combat the drug problem. Fraser said. “Taking 20 people out of a small community to get them treatment will also impact the local drug dealers. They are losing customers.”
Fraser said providing the scholarships to local residents in need of treatment on Saturday was just the beginning for the newly formed G.R.A.C.E. organization.
“We have applied for non-profit status for G.R.A.C.E. so we can continue to provide scholarships for people moving forward. The event on Saturday was just the beginning and we will be coming back to Crawford County in the spring,” Fraser said.
Robin Pangallo said donations will continue to be taken to help send more people to treatment.
“We still need funding for the people of Crawford county. We had such a huge response on Saturday, but it hasn’t stopped there. New people are stepping up every day since the event. We placed 20, and by Monday we had 25 more asking for help. Please, please help this cause for our community, Robin Pangallo said. “If they are asking, we need to keep helping, this battle is just beginning and there is a lot more work to do.”
Pangallo said an account for donations for G.R.A.C.E. has been set up at Chase Bank (formerly First Merit) on Washington Square in Bucyrus.
For more information about Beachside Rehab, visit https://www.beachsiderehab.com.
Reach Gasuras on Twitter: @kimberlygasuras