Portland, September 24th, 2015. De Paul Treatment Centers presented its 16th Annual Samuel C. Wheeler Freedom Award to Richard “Dick” Withnell. The Freedom Award, named after former De Paul board member Sam Wheeler, is an honor given to those who help battle the stigma of addiction by being open about their recovery and giving back to the community in significant ways. Dick Withnell is an influential yet humble leader throughout Oregon. Throughout his decades of sobriety, Dick has been active in public policy for youth safety and education, and is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of the greater community.

Honoree Dick Withnell, Award Presenter Ted Wheeler

Honoree Dick Withnell, Award Presenter Ted Wheeler

Honoree Dick Withnell, Senator Jackie Winters, De Paul CEO Maree Wacker, De Paul Board Director Jack Hopkins, Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard

Honoree Dick Withnell, Senator Jackie Winters, De Paul CEO Maree Wacker, De Paul Board Director Jack Hopkins, Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard

Board Director Paul Rosenbaum, Board Chair Harry Wilson

Board Director Paul Rosenbaum, Board Chair Harry Wilson

Bill Dickey, Representative Jennifer Williamson, Governor Kate Brown, former Governor Ted Kulongoski

Bill Dickey, Representative Jennifer Williamson, Governor Kate Brown, former Governor Ted Kulongoski

Governor Kate Brown speaking to audience about the importance of substance abuse treatment

Governor Kate Brown speaking to audience about the importance of substance abuse treatment

The luncheon’s inspiring speakers—Governor Kate Brown, past honoree Bill Dickey, Ted Wheeler, Harry Wilson, and honoree Dick Withnell—shared a common message about the importance of investing in treatment for the disease of addiction.

Over 300 guests gathered at the Sentinel Hotel’s Governor Ballroom to celebrate Dick’s achievement and raise funds for the De Paul Youth & Family Center. The event raised nearly $200,000 through sponsorships, tickets, and in room gifts. All event proceeds will go toward De Paul’s lifesaving addiction treatment programs for youth ages 13 to 17, funding the gap between the actual cost of treatment and what is covered by the Oregon Health Plan.

From De Paul Treatment Centers:

De Paul works with individuals, families and communities to create freedom from addiction.

De Paul Treatment Centers provides chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health treatment services to men, women, youth and families. More than 30,000 people have been served by the agency since its incorporation as an independent non-profit in 1977.

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