Recover Alaska is an organization working towards a solutions-based approach to reduce excessive alcohol use and harms across the state. As part of National Recovery Month in September, Recover Alaska held a storytelling event where people in recovery shared their stories of overcoming addiction.
- Taylor Stapley: is a lifelong indoor Alaskan. Once broken, now still broken but
recovering, an eternal optimist, and father to the best kid ever.
- Chris McNeese: was born in 1959 in Anchorage. She began her recovery
journey in April of 2000. Her current sobriety date is 5/5/2011. She has been
married 37 years and has 2 children and 1 1/3 grandchildren. She always
wants to see what’s around the next bend.
- Russ Osterhaus: is a lifelong Alaskan who loves going to church and AA
meetings and riding his 1993 Harley Sportster. He plays guitar and sings
Southern Gospel music, and he released a CD called Praise My Savior.
- Governor Bill Walker: stopped by the event to speak and show his support.
- RJ Johnson: is in a constant state of reinvention. From his former career as a
bartender, his hobbies of performance and theater, his time as a titleholder in
the ICOAA and as Mr Bear Alaska, he’s a familiar face for many in
Anchorage. Since making the choice to get sober, recovery has been the
biggest reinvention of all. No longer content to be Imperial Crown Prince RJ, Mr
Bear RJ, or RJ from Myrna’s, he is working to figure out who he is without the
- Arthur Stevens: is Ahtna and Han Gwitchn Athabascan from Mentasta Lake,
Alaska. He is from the Tsigunnyguy Alstetnay (Tsi-gunny-guy Alts-set-nay) clan.
His indigenous name is Cen’ayy (Ken-Eye) which means double-axe. He is a
local business owner and often performs traditional Ahtna song and dance to
support his community. He is happily married to an amazing and strong
Athabascan lady and is blessed with a 7-year-old son, Christian.
- Sarah Weber: is a proud lifelong Alaskan, and along with her husband of 16
years has four children. Sarah is a very outspoken character—she is full of
stories and loves to share them. She is excited to share her experience of hope
with others and to be a strong example of what recovery looks like. She
believes in second chances and is living proof that all things are possible for
those who believe.
- Wesley Brewington: became familiar with gang activity and incarceration at an
early age and struggled with substance abuse for 14 years. Wesley graduated
from a long-term treatment facility in the Mat-Su Valley, successfully completed
State Probation in 2017, and he’s now employed at CITC Recovery Services
Division as the Peer Support Supervisor. He just celebrated 5 years in recovery.
Wesley continues to be involved in the community, pursuing his passion for
helping others and providing evidence that we can and do recover.
BROADCAST: Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
RECORDED: Tuesday, September 20, 2018 at Anchorage Community Theater.
Addressing Alaskans features local lectures and forums recorded at public events taking place in Southcentral Alaska. A variety of local organizations host speakers addressing topics that matter to Alaskans. To let us know about an upcoming community event that you would like to hear on Addressing Alaskans, please Contact Us with details.