Stories of hope and resiliency were spotlighted over the weekend during the Empowerment Through Recovery community symposium at the Living Sky Casino. 

The Saturday evening event acted as a fundraiser for Dorie's House Treatment Centre and Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter (YES), however that wasn't the main focus.

Executive director for the non-profit, Rebecca Donnelly, said the goal of hosting the symposium was to spark community conversation around difficult but important topics, such as mental health and addictions.  

"It was really touching and impactful and insightful," she said. "It was tough at times ... These aren't easy topics to discuss, but I was so grateful and so proud that so many people opened up their minds and their hearts and shared in this discussion."

Former Humboldt Broncos assistant coach Chris Beaudry, and former Swift Current Bronco Brady Leavold were the two guest speakers for the evening. Attendees heard both individuals share their own firsthand experiences of trauma and addiction, and resiliency and recovery. 

Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley was in the audience as well as the City of Swift Current and multiple local groups and organizations. Donnelly expressed the representation from community members and dignitaries created a strong sense of support and connection.

"What was so great, is the presenters really enjoy themselves as well; they kept thanking us for the opportunity to be there. They felt the support and the love back in the audience and the community," she said. "Any [funds raised] was well enough. What we accomplished in bringing community members together to talk about, that was the real win, that was the real focus."

All money raised through the symposium will go right back into Dorie's House programming. The shelter supports youth 12 to 18 years old in a myriad of ways. Emergency shelter is available 24/7, with resolution and solutions always the end goal. 

The substance misuse treatment is another program. For inpatient, the individual will stay at the shelter for a period of six to eight weeks; referrals come to Dorie's House for that option from all over the province. Outpatient treatment provides education and support for youth who want to return home at the end of the day -- they're at the shelter during the weekdays, and home for evenings and weekends.

Dorie's House also has a new outreach program with a drop-in every Monday featuring a variety of education subjects and fun activities. Another new component is its youth advisory committee.

"We want to make sure that our programming is youth understood, youth led, and so it's very important for us to have a committee that could guide us in our programming," explained Donnelly. "If our programming isn't for youth, isn't driven by youth needs and wants, then it doesn't work."