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Cocaine Anonymous World Convention: A Platform for Fellowship, Recovery, and Fun

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Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 3:27 pm | Updated: 10:26 am, Sun May 29, 2011.

Cocaine Anonymous World Convention: A Platform for Fellowship, Recovery, and Fun

By Donovan Wilson

(Phoenix, Arizona) -- As dusk falls on the grounds of the lavish Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, rolling golf balls in a variety of colors illuminate atop the sprawling 18-hole putting complex nestled beneath the prodigious Camelback Mountain.

A flash of shocking green, orange, red, yellow, and blue – it’s night golf at the 27th Cocaine Anonymous World Service Convention. More than 200 recovering cocaine addicts and their families don glow stick bracelets and necklaces to participate in the event which brought back memories of a Star Wars scene.  The unique activity was the brainchild of Mark, a former professional golfer in recovery, who explained how the putting course received its glow. “We inserted one-inch glow sticks in all the balls and also lined the holes with them,” he said. “In addition, the tee-markers and flags that hang from the pin were made with these sticks.”

The scene created by this event was indeed surreal, as continuous laughter and play permeated the electric atmosphere.  It was special to see recovering addicts having fun with their children and spouses. Mark, who has nine years of continuous sobriety, explained that the night golf represents one of the many recreational activities woven throughout the 5-day (May 26 to May 30) conference agenda which includes recovery workshops, group meetings and outings for the more than 2,000 attendees.

As this writer traversed the Biltmore’s posh premises, the energy exuded by attendees was refreshingly positive. There was no shortage of hugs, handshakes, or smiles. The air was reminiscent of a vintage southern family reunion.

Phoenix resident Ginger, one of the convention’s organizers, was all smiles as she sat in the registration area and explained how she looked forward to hearing the speakers she helped to recruit. “We have speakers from New Zealand, Scotland, England, New York, and California,” she said. “The message they will deliver throughout our convention is vital to all our attendees.”

A contingent from England sat under an umbrella outside the hospitality building and compared this conference to others they previously attended. “Amazing!” exclaimed Andy, as he took a chunk out of his creatively concocted Doritos and Cheese bagel sandwich.  “I feel no resentment here; if the world convention was in Arizona every year I would come here every year.”

Andy’s countryman Danny reflected on conferences he attended in Monte Carlo, Scotland, and New York and responded: “No comparison.”   The Brighton native said the fellowshipping, hospitality, and menu of meetings available here are unmatched. “I have not had this experience elsewhere,” he added.

 

 

 

 

Nature lover Connie from Utah has 20 years of sobriety and has attended many world conventions throughout this period. However, she said this event has the making of something she has never experienced before.  As she observed a black bird sauntering the perfectly manicured lawn just south of the mountain she paused momentarily with her gaze fixated on the bird.  “Life is beautiful,” she said. “I feel like I have never done a convention before. This is so much fun… the birds are chirping, the landscape is perfect, people are smiling, and I am alive.”

Connie said she enjoys savoring the gifts of her recovery and the natural beauty that enfolds the Valley because she had a near-death experience two years ago.  “I have to enjoy the warmth and beauty of this life; I am surrounded by a lot of spirituality here,” she said.

One attendee who would not have missed the convention for anything in the world is Phoenix native Jeff who has been sober for just six weeks. He said his recent struggles have made him stronger in his pursuit to overcome his addiction. “I have been looking forward to the workshops and learning more about sobriety and the fellowship of recovery,” he said.

If Ann from Turks and Caicos Islands could have received more time away her job she said she would have extended her stay beyond the convention.  “This is my fourth cocaine anonymous world convention and I am fascinated by the beauty that I am seeing here at the Biltmore,” she said – explaining that there are no live cocaine anonymous meetings in her homeland. As a result, she gets her sobriety through daily email transmissions with recovery messages.  “I have met a lot of friends in recovery through the online process which is where I discovered Arizona and the great recovery it has.”

Like many of the foreign visitors from countries like Amsterdam,  Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, and Africa… Ann looks forward to the group outing to places like Sedona, and the Wet ‘n Wild Water Theme Park where she will further develop her relationship with her brothers and sisters in recovery.

Cocaine Anonymous World Convention: A Platform for Fellowship, Recovery, and Fun

(Phoenix, Arizona) -- As dusk falls on the grounds of the lavish Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, rolling golf balls in a variety of colors illuminate atop the sprawling 18-hole putting complex nestled beneath the prodigious Camelback Mountain.

A flash of shocking green, orange, red, yellow, and blue – it’s night golf at the 27th Cocaine Anonymous World Service Convention. More than 200 recovering cocaine addicts and their families don glow stick bracelets and necklaces to participate in the event which brought back memories of a Star Wars scene.  The unique activity was the brainchild of Mark, a former professional golfer in recovery, who explained how the putting course received its glow. “We inserted one-inch glow sticks in all the balls and also lined the holes with them,” he said. “In addition, the tee-markers and flags that hang from the pin were made with these sticks.”

The scene created by this event was indeed surreal, as continuous laughter and play permeated the electric atmosphere.  It was special to see recovering addicts having fun with their children and spouses. Mark, who has nine years of continuous sobriety, explained that the night golf represents one of the many recreational activities woven throughout the 5-day (May 26 to May 30) conference agenda which includes recovery workshops, group meetings and outings for the more than 2,000 attendees.

As this writer traversed the Biltmore’s posh premises, the energy exuded by attendees was refreshingly positive. There was no shortage of hugs, handshakes, or smiles. The air was reminiscent of a vintage southern family reunion.

Phoenix resident Ginger, one of the convention’s organizers, was all smiles as she sat in the registration area and explained how she looked forward to hearing the speakers she helped to recruit. “We have speakers from New Zealand, Scotland, England, New York, and California,” she said. “The message they will deliver throughout our convention is vital to all our attendees.”

A contingent from England sat under an umbrella outside the hospitality building and compared this conference to others they previously attended. “Amazing!” exclaimed Andy, as he took a chunk out of his creatively concocted Doritos and Cheese bagel sandwich.  “I feel no resentment here; if the world convention was in Arizona every year I would come here every year.”

Andy’s countryman Danny reflected on conferences he attended in Monte Carlo, Scotland, and New York and responded: “No comparison.”   The Brighton native said the fellowshipping, hospitality, and menu of meetings available here are unmatched. “I have not had this experience elsewhere,” he added.

 

 

 

 

Nature lover Connie from Utah has 20 years of sobriety and has attended many world conventions throughout this period. However, she said this event has the making of something she has never experienced before.  As she observed a black bird sauntering the perfectly manicured lawn just south of the mountain she paused momentarily with her gaze fixated on the bird.  “Life is beautiful,” she said. “I feel like I have never done a convention before. This is so much fun… the birds are chirping, the landscape is perfect, people are smiling, and I am alive.”

Connie said she enjoys savoring the gifts of her recovery and the natural beauty that enfolds the Valley because she had a near-death experience two years ago.  “I have to enjoy the warmth and beauty of this life; I am surrounded by a lot of spirituality here,” she said.

One attendee who would not have missed the convention for anything in the world is Phoenix native Jeff who has been sober for just six weeks. He said his recent struggles have made him stronger in his pursuit to overcome his addiction. “I have been looking forward to the workshops and learning more about sobriety and the fellowship of recovery,” he said.

If Ann from Turks and Caicos Islands could have received more time away her job she said she would have extended her stay beyond the convention.  “This is my fourth cocaine anonymous world convention and I am fascinated by the beauty that I am seeing here at the Biltmore,” she said – explaining that there are no live cocaine anonymous meetings in her homeland. As a result, she gets her sobriety through daily email transmissions with recovery messages.  “I have met a lot of friends in recovery through the online process which is where I discovered Arizona and the great recovery it has.”

Like many of the foreign visitors from countries like Amsterdam,  Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, and Africa… Ann looks forward to the group outing to places like Sedona, and the Wet ‘n Wild Water Theme Park where she will further develop her relationship with her brothers and sisters in recovery.

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