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Worcester Cares About Recovery Walk 2023

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who attended the Worcester Cares About Recovery Walk 2023. Your presence and unwavering support, even in challenging weather conditions, made this event an unforgettable testament to our shared commitment to recovery. Thank you for standing with us, for raising your voices, and for being a vital part of this incredible journey towards a brighter, addiction-free future. Your dedication is truly appreciated.

Despite mother nature's best efforts, the city of Worcester came alive on Saturday, September 16th, 2023, as our 2nd annual Worcester Cares About Recovery Walk took center stage at Institute Park. This much-anticipated event, dedicated to raising awareness about addiction and celebrating the journey of recovery, exceeded all expectations. With a vibrant mix of music, food, activities, and inspiring speeches from notable guests, it was an unforgettable day that showcased the power of unity and support within the Worcester recovery community.


This year's event was chaired by MA State Representative Jimmy O'Day, a staunch advocate for the Worcester recovery community. His dedication to increasing access to treatment and eradicating the stigma surrounding substance use disorders made him the perfect leader for this exceptional event.


Featuring a lineup of distinguished guest speakers, each sharing their insights and commitment to the cause. City Councilor Kate Toomy kicked off the day reading a Proclamation from our Mayor Joseph Petty announcing this day as Yes To Recovery Day in the City of Worcester. District Attorney Joseph Early and Senator Michael Moore also lent their voices to the event, emphasizing the importance of community support and legislative efforts in combating addiction. In addition, Speakers from local recovery organizations including, Everyday Miracles (EDM), The Miracle Mamma's, Washburn House and Lake Avenue Recovery all added to this amazing day.


The heart of this event lay in its ability to bring people together, fostering an environment of understanding and empathy. Local organizations joined forces, setting up informational booths that provided resources and support for addiction recovery. This collaborative effort underlined the significance of a united community in the fight against addiction. Music filled the air at Institute Park, creating a vibrant atmosphere that resonated with the spirit of the event. It served as a reminder that recovery is not just about overcoming challenges but also about celebrating life's joys.


Participants and their families had a chance to enjoy food, fun and fellowship. At its core, the Worcester Cares About Recovery Walk 2023 sent a powerful message: recovery is possible, and everyone deserves support and understanding on their journey. It demonstrated that the Worcester community is ready to stand together to make a difference in the lives of those affected by addiction.


Our 2nd annual Worcester Cares About Recovery Walk was an unequivocal success. Showcasing the strength of a united community, reaffirming the message that recovery is not a solitary journey but a collective effort. As we look back on this remarkable event, we are filled with hope and determination, ready to continue the fight against addiction and support those on their path to recovery. Thank you to everyone who participated, spoke, and contributed to making this event a resounding triumph. Together, we are making a difference!


Robert F. Pezzella


Yes To Recovery 501(c)(3)


What is Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month (Recovery Month), which started in 1989, is a national observance held every September.  Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery from substance use and mental health, just as we celebrate improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.

2023 Recovery Walk Chair

Jim O’Day was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts and attended Worcester Academy and Worcester State College. Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Science, with a specialization in Urban Studies and Management. After college, Jim served as a social worker for the Department of Social Services (now Department of Children and Families), serving families in central Massachusetts for over twenty-four years.


In 2007, Jim ran in a special election for an open seat in the 14th Worcester District (composed of the town of West Boylston and parts of Worcester) in a hotly contested race. He went on to win the election in April 2007 and was sworn into the House of Representatives in May of 2007.

Representative O’Day currently serves as the Fourth Division Leader of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Previously, Representative O'Day served as the chairman of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs and the chairman of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. He is also an active member of the Central Massachusetts Labor Council. Representative O’Day recognizes the important role that government plays in every community and the many different services that are provided to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. In addition, Representative O’Day is a Licensed Social Worker and has extensive experience in education and group counseling at a treatment facility in central Massachusetts. Jim currently serves on the Advisory Board for Rockdale Recovery High School and is an active and vocal advocate for the recovery community.

Jim has lived in West Boylston for over twenty years with his wife Marybeth Murphy O’Day. He is the proud father of four sons and was very involved with youth, especially through coaching youth sports. He has conducted voter registration drives in high schools at the West Boylston High School and throughout Worcester. Jim is also a member of the West Boylston Democratic Town Committee, the Worcester Tree Initiative, and an Honorary Member of the Worcester Ward 3 Democratic City Committee. Additionally, he currently serves as an Incorporator with Children's Friend and regularly attends Worcester neighborhood safety meetings. Through his extensive involvement, Jim is proud to be an easily accessible and deeply committed member of his community.

Come join us Sept. 16th for our 2nd Annual Recovery Walk beginning at 11am followed by a Celebration at Institute Park at 12pm.  Cookout, Outdoor Concert, Speakers and Events FREE for the whole family!

We Need Your Support Today!

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