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Aspire celebrates recovery in colorful way

Seventy-five members of Aspire's peer support groups released 100 balloons to celebrate their recovery. / Mary Green

If the Albany sky seemed a bit more colorful on Thursday, it was thanks to members of Aspire’s peer support program.

Seventy-five of them, all in recovery for behavioral health and addictive disease disorders, chanted, “Recovery is real,” before their celebration of Mental Health Month.

One of their members shared his story of overcoming job loss, a jail sentence and homelessness, and then the group released 100 balloons into the sky, each filled with recovery words, like “hope,” “faith,” and “honesty.”

“Those balloons are gonna end up somewhere, and somebody at the right moment might get one of those balloons and go, ‘Cool,’ and might get some hope from it,” said Michael Rigsby, a peer support member who now works for Aspire.

Rigsby said that while Aspire has done this balloon release in previous years, this year’s was their biggest yet.

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