Rock the Block party helps raise awareness for addiction recovery

ROCHESTER — Lots of good old-fashioned fun was happening in the Lilac City on Sunday as SOS Recovery held their second annual Rock the Block party.

SOS Recovery offers peer-based addiction recovery support and part of their goal at the event was being on hand to offer information to anyone who might be seeking help.

“It’s a family block party,” said Elizabeth Atwood, capacity building specialist for SOS. “It’s free fun, with music, food and lots of kids’ activities. We do it to raise awareness that recovery is real and that we are still in town.”

“SOS is a program of Goodwin Health,” said John Burns, director. “We have seen some increase here since Frisbie closed their center here. But a lot of our people went to both places so the increase has not been too large.”

SOS made hot dogs, and Dominos pizza was on hand, volunteering their time to help feed the guests. SOS had an information table, as did Journey House, which provides low cost sober living houses for men and women in Maine.

Mario Phillips of Rochester was the volunteer in the dunk tank. He said he is a client of SOS, 17 months sober, and loves to help out the agency he credits with saving his life.

“Everyone in town knows me,” said Phillips. “I am the funny man in the city. People will come to this event just to dunk me.”

Phillips’ first contender was Congressional candidate Lincoln Soldati. Phillips took great pleasure in taunting Soldati for his misses.

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