They wanted to help other men who are struggling with addictions.
This Saturday, the culmination of their efforts over the past several months will be realized.
Dubbing themselves Unity in Community, the group has organized an all-day men’s rally at Marystown Central High School featuring guest speakers who have overcome addictions.
“I went to some of the boys in Marystown and said, ‘We should get a group formed – there’s a lot of people with addictions – and have a rally in Marystown, central for the district so that we could bring all men in,’” member Jack Cumben told The Southern Gazette Wednesday.
“So we just formed a group and said, ‘Well, let’s try something and see if we can help out in any way.’”
Among the guest speakers lined up for the event is native Newfoundlander Michael Bull Roberts, a onetime gang leader and drug lord in Toronto, Ont., who is now an award-winning writer, artist and motivational speaker.
“He got away from it all and changed his life,” Cumben said. “And now we want him to come down and tell his story.”
Also speaking are John Prior, formerly of Grand Bank, and Mary Poulain of Marystown, Cumben said.
The event is open to all men 16 and over and consists of two-hour meetings in the morning and afternoon. An evening session is open to the public.
“It seems like addiction is more prevalent in men than it is in women,” Cumben said. “Now, women got addictions, too, but it seems like there’s more on the male side.”
The group isn’t sure yet if the rally will be a one-off or whether they will continue on, Cumben said.
“We’re thinking about, if it’s successful, putting in a mission statement and registering as a charitable group,” he said.