Understanding that residential addiction treatment is expensive, guests at the Crossroads annual gala Nov. 2 at Westin Portland Harborview Hotel in Portland raised $25,000 for a client scholarship fund that bridges the gap between what a woman can afford and what she needs.

“Without the help of this gala and what came of it, I probably wouldn’t be able to get the treatment I needed, and I’m grateful,” said Jodi Arsenault of South Portland. “I was so broken at the time, I needed to be cocooned in a supportive atmosphere. I went to treatment for 30 days, and thank God that I did. … I didn’t want to drink anymore, and I just couldn’t stop.”

Crossroads has outpatient programs for both women and men, but it’s the cost of the residential programs – offered only to women – that can be prohibitive.

“We’re trying to reduce as many barriers as possible to get women into treatment,” said Crossroads CEO Shannon Trainor.

“Tonight celebrates recovery and that recovery is possible,” said Dr. Mary Anne Roy, chief clinical officer. “It reminds us of the potential of hope.”

Keynote speaker Joe McGrann, a recovering alcoholic from Wiscasset, hit the perfect pitch of poignancy and humor.

“Alcohol worked for me super fine until it didn’t, and I spent a year trying to drink myself to death,” said McGrann, who got sober in 1989. “Addiction is a disease of profound isolation. Until I sat down with people who were like me and started having these conversations, I was drowning in a sea of fear and shame.”

The nearly 200 gala guests included clinicians, alumna of the program and people involved with Crossroads in all sorts of ways – whether they lead equine therapy, provide acupuncture or outfit facilities with furniture or communications systems.

“One of my favorite things about this gala is to have someone come up to me and say that they were in my group,” said Sarah Mays-Sutor, an outpatient clinician in Scarborough.

“It’s emotional,” said Amber Ayotte, a 2013 alumna.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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