Everyone has a story to tell. Some are informal, others educational, entertaining or motivational.
Nikki Worthy, sales manager for the Atlanta Gladiators, wanted to do a panel about issues she felt were needed in the community.
“I take mental health personally and thought it would be an ideal time to not only give a platform but utilize someone who is known. … I wanted others to take it personally because it affects everyone in all walks of life,” she said.
The Gladiators are bringing to the community a pre-game event, an initiative-based promotion “Health and Wellness Night” on Jan. 14. For this event we are focusing on mental health and sobriety, noted Worthy.
Meet Justin McClure, a comedian, speaker, filmmaker – an “influencer” according to Worthy and now sober.
Countless photos pop up if you Google Justin McClure that display a beautiful family: a perceived perception of having it all.
Some of the earlier chapters in his life are far removed from the present.
“In 2012, I came home drunk from a date and started watching the movie Unguarded: The Chris Herren Story. He wasted his NBA career through drugs and alcohol. … I looked at the TV and said, ‘That’s pathetic’ then I paused and said, ‘Oh wait, that’s you, Justin.’ Shame ran through my body but then inspiration. That was the moment I decided to not drink (the next day). I’ve been sober since,” wrote McClure in an email to the AJC.
McClure overcame an addiction that held him captive, and is now using his journey and achievement to reach others.
“I’ve been in the trenches. Many see success as unobtainable, but many successful people simply transfer negative energy into positive. I’ve had the lowest of lows: broke, no place to live, alone and lonely, in jail, desperate, etc. I didn’t go into recovery on a winning streak,” he wrote.
My narrative is important and relatable to many, he stated. There are many out there suffering “that need what was freely given to me: just sharing the story. I don’t have to accomplish anything, for I am sober and happy, but what others choose to accomplish is up to them.”
Our promotional nights are a way to use the “power of sports” to engage and strengthen the community, said Worthy. “The Atlanta Gladiators are striving to leave a mark on the metro Atlanta area” and look forward to presenting a variety of events going into next season, added Community Outreach Coordinator Sidnee Berch.
The doors will open at 6:45 p.m. The event will be hosted down in the Level 1 suite. McClure will talk for about 20 minutes, followed by a Q&A. The event is open to anyone who has purchased a ticket to the game.
Address: Gas South Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth 30097
To purchase tickets, visit: www.fevo.me/mentalhealth
Each Sunday we write about a deserving person or charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To submit a story for us to cover, send to email@example.com.
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