GraffitiFest was hosted by the Maaco collision repair and auto painting facility on Westgate Drive in Brockton, MA. The event started in the parking lot there late Saturday afternoon and stretched into the evening, giving participants the chance to spray paint “positive” art onto the side of a donated Winnebago motor home, according to organizers. Large rectangular canvasses were also set up around the parking lot to accommodate more graffiti art.
“This is for recovering alcoholics and their families to get together and have some fun,” said Susie Lordi, event organizer and publisher of 24HrPower.com, a website supporting people in recovery from substance abuse. “We’ve got to have some fun in sobriety. That’s how it goes. It’s not all work and no play.”
This is the second GraffitiFest organized by Lordi, who held a similar event in her native Rockland on June 16 to mark her 25th year of sobriety. Lordi said she wants to hold events like this to give families affected by substance abuse and recovery the chance to have a positive night out together and meet like-minded people.
“What’s nice about this is you get families together---families who weren’t necessarily always together,” Lordi said.
In addition to the spray paint art, there were also tables set up by local organizations that support people in recovery from substance abuse, including the Brockton-based Stairway to Recovery, SouthBay Community Services, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery and Friends of Emmett/Mercy Street. The Brockton Fire Department also came with a fire engine, showing it off to the children there.
“This is one of many events that help send a positive message in the fight against addiction,” said Joe Lowry, who was there with the Sober Warriors boxing group, which is based in Brockton. “Instead of resorting to using drugs, this time they can tag an RV. It’s just a good outlet. It’s just another outlet to do something to express yourself instead of using.”