Edmond resident and former NFL star will speak about his addiction and recovery at A Chance to Change's banquet

A Chance to Change will honor Edmond resident Jim Riley, who played for the Miami Dolphins, the University of Oklahoma and Enid High School, at its Celebration of Recovery on Tuesday.
BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN Assistant Features Editor lbrinkman@opubco.com Modified: February 20, 2012 at 9:55 am •  Published: February 20, 2012
aying professional football is not exactly a normal lifestyle,” he said. “We were actually paid to act crazy, just to be nuts, and we thought that was normal.”

Fostering recovery

In addition to being the speaker, Riley is the honoree at A Chance to Change's celebration, for which University of Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops is honorary chairman and Jamie Reineke is event chairman.

Each year, the organization tries to honor someone who has helped people with recovery, said Executive Director Jo Ann Pearce. And Riley has dedicated the 26 years since he became sober to doing so.

“We think it's inspiring and it helps people to understand that people do recover from addiction and live great, full lives and are part of the community,” she said.

A Chance to Chance was established 33 years ago as the first drug and alcohol treatment center in Oklahoma City, she said. The group started with adolescents but now has an outpatient center at 5228 Classen Circle. It offers prevention and education programs about substance abuse and other addictions, including gambling, sex and spending.

Pearce said she looked forward to hearing Riley's story.

“He's a guy with a lot of personality and he's had an interesting life, and he almost lost it,” she said.

Tickets are no longer available for the Celebration of Recovery, but for more information about the organization, go to www.achancetochange.org or call 840-9000. For more information about the Jim Riley Outreach ministry, go online to jimrileyoutreach.org.

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