After seven years of annual Recovery Month rallies at Deering Oaks park, Portland Recovery Community Center moved this year’s celebration of sobriety to the big screen at Saco Drive-In, followed by a screening of the 1985 treasure-hunting classic “The Goonies.”

“We were trying to see how we can safely gather and remember that we’re all connected, even if it is from the safety of our cars,” said Executive Director Leslie Clark. “We celebrate being free from addiction. And what can be more fun for the family than ‘The Goonies?’ ”

More than 130 carloads pre-registered for the free event, including vanloads of residents from some Portland-area sober homes, for a 45-minute program followed by the feature film.

“I’m so glad we can celebrate this year,” said Liz Holder, a peer support specialist. “Look at how happy people are to see each other after so many months.”

The program was streamed on Facebook, too, and included musical performances by Myles Bullen, the Worst and Lake Over Fire; instructions on how to make an origami fish for a community art project; and stretch breaks by Sea Change Yoga.

During the Recovery Countdown, adapted for the drive-in, carloads honked their horns and flashed their lights as the livestream counted down from decades of sobriety all the way to 1 day.


“I’m so Zoom’ed out, so this is like a meeting for me and sort of in person,” said Nancy Wolach of Old Orchard Beach.

“This is seeing a movie in comfort,” said Paul Gross of Portland, cozied up in the back of pickup with Tatia Tyler of Westbrook.

“I just pulled these cushions off my couch,” she said.

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

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