2016 ESHA Night Event

Mackenzie Phillips Honored At 7th Annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards Show

THE 2016 EXPERIENCE, STRENGTH & HOPE AWARDS -
HONORED MACKENZIE PHILLIPS

for her book, High on Arrival

Mackenzie Phillips

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

2016speakers5rev5

Host, Ed Begley, Jr.
With Special Guests, Comedian, Alonzo Bodde
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Spoken word by Bob Forrest
Singer, Elizabeth Edwards
Tony Denison
Plus Special Guests

 

This year’s honoree was actor, singer, author and recovery advocate, Mackenzie Phillips. Best known for her roles in American Graffiti and the sitcom One Day at a Time, and last year’s film, Girl on the Edge. High on Arrival, is her moving and inspiring memoir.

The Experience, Strength and Hope Award honors sober celebrities who’ve written memoirs. Previous recipients include, Christopher Kennedy Lawford; Academy Award winner, Lou Gossett, Jr; astronaut Buzz Aldrin; co-founder of Duran Duran, John Taylor;  acclaimed author, Carrie White; and actor/author Joe Pantoliano. The event is held every year at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Net proceeds go to the health and wellness REEL Recovery Film Festival and Symposium.

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Mackenzie Phillips Honored at the
7th Annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards Show

by John Lavitt

Honoree, Mackenzie Phillips

The Experience, Strength and Hope Award is given in recognition of an individual’s honest life’s memoir including their journey through addiction to recovery, and their dedication to carrying the message of hope to a society awash in addiction.

At the 7th Annual Experience, Strength, and Hope Awards Show, award-winning performer Mackenzie Phillips was honored for her ongoing commitment to recovery. Now working as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Pasadena Recovery Center, Phillips has dedicated herself as a recovery advocate to spreading a positive message. She also has published a powerfully raw memoir entitled High On Arrival (2011) about her lifelong battle with family demons and the brutal addictions that she eventually overcame, one day at a time.

John Taylor, Mackenzie Philips and Leonard Buschel
John Taylor, Mackenzie Philips and Leonard Buschel

Held at the Skirball Cultural Center on the night of February 16, the awards show was presented by Writers In Treatment and the Reel Recovery Film Festival. Started by Leonard Buschel, the founder of both nonprofit organizations, the Experience, Strength and Hope Award is given in recognition of an individual’s journey to sustainable sobriety, and their subsequent dedication to carrying a message of hope. The award honors a person for demonstrating character, courage and creativity in recovery.

In the face of the national opioid epidemic raging across the country and being highlighted in the current presidential primaries, the message seems particularly poignant at this time. Best known for her roles in American Graffiti and the sitcom One Day at a Time, Phillips has been affected by this storm of addiction as well. She let her experience on the third season of Celebrity Rehab in 2010 expand into a new calling. Seeing what musician and drug counselor Bob Forrest described as the horror of thousands upon thousands of young people dying from this disease, Phillips became a recovery advocate, passionately giving back what was so freely given to her.

Jay Silverman - Audience Favorite Award
Jay Silverman – Audience Favorite Award

Interviewed by The Fix, Mackenzie Phillips was asked, “In the light of the success you have experienced and the past difficulties you have overcome, what does winning an award like this mean to you?” With a gracious and peaceful look, Phillips replied, “It means that we can recover and we do recover. As long as we continue to walk the path and stay sober, as long as we remember to be mindful of our actions and to keep doing the right thing, then the world is ours. That’s such a wonderful realization to celebrate.”

It was clear from this response that the 2016 Experience, Strength, and Hope Award represented a new milestone in her life’s work. During the awards ceremony, Phillips received this year’s honor from past honoree John Taylor of Duran Duran. Understanding the resonant power of the moment, Taylor elegantly passed the torch to Phillips.

Mackenzie Phillips with Her Award and Past Honoree John Taylor of Duran Duran Photo: John Lavitt
Mackenzie Phillips with Her Award and Past Honoree John Taylor of Duran Duran Photo: John Lavitt

Embracing the opportunity, Mackenzie Phillips explained how, “In the past, I hadn’t owned my truth and I couldn’t speak my truth. I was ashamed of what I had done and caught in a web of lies. Talk about a sea change. Today, I want to be an active part of putting a face on the alcoholic and the addict. I want to help overcome the stigma attached to this disease. In order to do this, I knew I had to give up expectation. I had to leave all that ego stuff by the wayside in order to chase my passion. By making this choice, my life today is filled with a deep sense of gratitude.”

At the 7th Annual Experience, Strength, and Hope Awards Show, award-winning performer Mackenzie Phillips was honored for her ongoing commitment to recovery. Now working as a drug and alcohol counselor at the Pasadena Recovery Center, Phillips has dedicated herself as a recovery advocate to spreading a positive message. She also has published a powerfully raw memoir entitled High On Arrival (2011) about her lifelong battle with family demons and the brutal addictions that she eventually overcame, one day at a time.

Bob Forrest, spoken word performance during the presentaiton
Bob Forrest, spoken word performance during presentation

Held at the Skirball Cultural Center on the night of February 16, the awards show was presented by Writers In Treatment and the Reel Recovery Film Festival. Started by Leonard Buschel, the founder of both nonprofit organizations, the Experience, Strength and Hope Award is given in recognition of an individual’s journey to sustainable sobriety, and their subsequent dedication to carrying a message of hope. The award honors a person for demonstrating character, courage and creativity in recovery.

In the face of the national opioid epidemic raging across the country and being highlighted in the current presidential primaries, the message seems particularly poignant at this time. Best known for her roles in American Graffiti and the sitcom One Day at a Time, Phillips has been affected by this storm of addiction as well. She let her experience on the third season of Celebrity Rehab in 2010 expand into a new calling. Seeing what musician and drug counselor Bob Forrest described as the horror of thousands upon thousands of young people dying from this disease, Phillips became a recovery advocate, passionately giving back what was so freely given to her.

Tony Denison
Actor, Tony Denison

Interviewed by The Fix, Mackenzie Phillips was asked, “In the light of the success you have experienced and the past difficulties you have overcome, what does winning an award like this mean to you?” With a gracious and peaceful look, Phillips replied, “It means that we can recover and we do recover. As long as we continue to walk the path and stay sober, as long as we remember to be mindful of our actions and to keep doing the right thing, then the world is ours. That’s such a wonderful realization to celebrate.”

It was clear from this response that the 2016 Experience, Strength, and Hope Award represented a new milestone in her life’s work. During the awards ceremony, Phillips received this year’s honor from past honoree John Taylor of Duran Duran. Understanding the resonant power of the moment, Taylor elegantly passed the proverbial torch to Phillips.

Alonzo Bodden
Performance by comedian, Alonzo Bodden

Embracing the opportunity, Mackenzie Phillips explained how, “In the past, I hadn’t owned my truth and I couldn’t speak my truth. I was ashamed of what I had done and caught in a web of lies. Talk about a sea change. Today, I want to be an active part of putting a face on the alcoholic and the addict. I want to help overcome the stigma attached to this disease. In order to do this, I knew I had to give up expectation. I had to leave all that ego stuff by the wayside in order to chase my passion. By making this choice, my life today is filled with a deep sense of gratitude.”

Mackenzie Phillips and Elizabeth Edwards
Mackenzie Phillips and Elizabeth Edwards

Videos:
YouTube.com

YouTube.com

Articles:
LAWeekly.com

InRecoveryMagazine.com

PasadenaNow.com

The Fix.com

WatsonHeadquarters.com

Mackenzie Phillips and Brad Lamm
Mackenzie Phillips and Brad Lamm

 

 

 

 

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