Special to The Advocate
The City of Malden and the greater Malden community commemorated the opening of The Bridge Recovery Center (BRC) with a ribbon-cutting on Commercial Street on Saturday, June 26. The ribbon-cutting was symbolic of the years of hard work that went into making the center a reality. Hundreds of friends, family members, volunteers and supporters of Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA), the Gavin Foundation and BRC were on hand to join in the celebration.
The dream of opening The Bridge peer-to-peer recovery center in Malden was realized over the last several months after years of advocacy, planning and legislative efforts to secure the funding. The partnership formed between MOA and the Gavin Foundation was forged with the support of Mayor Gary Christenson and State Senator Jason Lewis. BRC is operated and managed by the Gavin Foundation and is funded by the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.
Gavin Foundation President/CEO John McGahan spoke of The Bridge’s peer-to-peer model as a pathway from “darkness to dignity”. He thanked the Malden Legislative delegation, Mayor Gary Christenson and MOA President Paul Hammersley for their unwavering support and dedication to the project. He also acknowledged the tremendous efforts of the BRC Director, members, volunteers and the BRC crew who run the center.
Hammersley, who was the driving and relentless force behind the opening of BRC, credited his sponsor and friend, the late Dom DiSario, as an inspiration and the conscientious leader of the movement to open a center. Hammersley and Mayor Christenson both heaped praise on Malden’s legislative delegation, who were fierce supporters of the project and largely responsible for ensuring that a consistent funding stream was available to open a center.
On hand for the ceremony were Senator Lewis, State Representatives Paul Donato and Steve Ultrino and former State Representative and current Melrose Mayor Paul Brodeur. Also participating in the ceremony were Malden Police Chief and Malden Opioid Task Force member Kevin Molis and Pastor Gerry Whetstone of the Nazarene Church in Malden, who is also a member of the Opioid Task Force.
For more information about BRC, call 781-480-4937. For more information about MOA, call 781-838-2203.