A Forever Recovery and Pachas Pajamas host Imagination Heals

When A Forever Recovery CEO Per Wickstrom decided to commit himself to his life’s work of helping people overcome addiction, he saw an opportunity to do more than just get people off of drugs and alcohol. He saw the chance to make the world around us a better place for everybody. He knew that, in order to be a truly effective force in the battle against substance abuse, we must reach beyond the grounds of our treatment center to carry our message of a better life to as many people as we can, especially to our children and young adults. By hosting various events that are aimed at promoting arts and education in youth, we strive to show kids today that there are healthier and more positive alternatives to using drugs and alcohol. One such function, called “Imagination Heals”, was a collaborative effort between AFR and Pacha’s Pajamas, a pop music performance group that has grown from the pages of a children’s book written by Aaron Ableman.

The “Imagination Heals” event was a fun-filled musical evening that was attended by many public figures, such as Kendall Schmidt of children’s musical group “Big Time Rush”, who did some onstage reading of the story of Pacha, and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore, among many others. “This is really a celebration of the power of the arts and entertainment,” Ableman said about the event, “when used positively to transform children’s lives. It’s just that simple.” Ableman also performed a hip hop act onstage that evening, and the enthusiasm for his work was positively contagious. Clapping, dancing and smiling audience members were drawn into the story and the performances that night, and everybody had a real sense of doing something to help the greater good.

“Pacha’s Pajamas” is the story of a little girl who suffers from asthma. On the way home from school one day, she experiences a terrible asthma attack, and her mother instructs her to get some rest, handing her a new pair of pajamas. Those bedclothes turned out to be magical, and they transport her through her dreams to an epic music festival that was organized for and by plants and animals. Through the shared experiences of the festival attendees, Pacha finds that she has the strength and will within herself to overcome all of life’s obstacles in a positive way. The similarities between what Pacha discovers and what the recovery program at AFR helps our patients to realize are noticeable. We help our patients to understand that, while we will do everything we can to help them with every step they take on the path to recovery, the power to remain substance-free remains, ultimately, within them.

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