Alex Ray, owner and founder of the Common Man restaurant in Ashland, and proprietor of several other hospitality establishments in central New Hampshire, including Meredith, is continuing his fight against substance abuse and the heroin epidemic in New Hampshire. He has issued a fundraising challenge — every dollar that is donated to Easter Seals for its substance abuse programs will be matched up to $100,000.
With New Hampshire ranking 49th in access to treatment for substance addiction, and heroin use at epidemic proportions, Ray has issued the challenge to Granite State residents to improve options in the State for those recovery. All gifts received will help increase the number of treatment beds at Easter Seals NH, which has been on the front lines of this battle and is committed to supporting people in need, through substance abuse treatment programs at the Farnum Center in Manchester, and Farnum North in Franklin.
Ray announced the challenge—that if met by Nov. 1, will bring in a total of $200,000 — at the recent Easter Seals NH Farnum North groundbreaking of Bartlett Cottage in Franklin. Once the renovation of this building is completed next February, Bartlett Cottage will house 20 co-ed treatment beds. Additionally, Easter Seals is in the process of licensing 42 existing beds for residential treatment at Webster Place at Farnum North.
"I believe New Hampshire deserves better and has the means to be better. It will take all of us to accomplish this," said Ray. "There are record numbers of people dying from overdoses in New Hampshire and we must respond. I will match every dollar donated to this campaign from now until November 1st." Ray was instrumental in preserving and restoring the historic Daniel Webster homestead and Civil War era orphanage into an alcohol and drug recovery center in 2007 that Easter Seals purchased earlier this year.
Easter Seals NH has already received $38,000 toward the Alex Ray $100,000 Challenge for Recovery. That leaves only $62,000 to reach $200,000. The funds will be used to increase the number of treatment beds available and make an impact by decreasing the length of time people battling the disease of addiction need to wait for help. Gifts may be made in memory or honor of a loved one and all gifts $5,000 and above will receive a naming opportunity at Farnum North. Donors who give $100 or more will be recognized with their name on a plaque at Farnum North.
"Expanding treatment options, in addition to prevention and recovery support, is critical to combat the state's growing substance abuse problem. Alex's gift sets a high philanthropic bar for the State in tackling this problem together," said Easter Seals President & CEO Larry Gammon. "With the renovation of Bartlett Cottage, the addition of 42 licensed residential beds at Webster Place, and the eventual renovation of the entire Farnum North campus, we will change and save lives."