Inaugural ‘Gratitude Luncheon’ recognizes The Crossroads Club impact on fighting addiction   

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By: Marisa Herman

Nancy Flinn was at a crossroads in her life 15 years ago.

She was 60, recently retired, a widower and battling an illness that affected her memory. She uprooted her life from up north and moved to Florida and decided she would take every day one day at a time.

Confronted with the feeling she didn’t know who she was anymore, she began going to happy hours. Sometimes those social hours started as early as having a drink at lunchtime. And she began to find herself looking forward to the first drink of the day.

“I didn’t know if I was an alcoholic or not,” she said.

She looked into therapy, the National Alliance of Mental Illness and then she learned about Crossroads Club, a non-profit 12-Step based meeting center that supports an average of 800 people per day, who are pursuing recovery from various forms of addiction.

She went to 90 meetings in 90 days and then she stayed another 90 days.

“I had a sponsor and the camaraderie and honesty I heard in the room gave me the confidence that I could re-evaluate the next chapter of my life.”

Now, at 75, and with her relationship with alcohol under control, the Delray resident wanted to come up with a way to share how thankful she is and others can be that Crossroads is a community resource.

“Once I was clear about my future, I knew that giving back to charities that I believed in would be how I evolved the next portion of my life,” Flinn said.

Flinn serves on the boards of the Community Caring Center of Palm Beach and Primal Forces. In the past, she served on the boards of the League of Women Voters, the Arts Garage and The Symphonia of Boca Raton.  Her latest project is planning the Crossroads Club luncheon.

The Inaugural Gratitude Luncheon benefiting The Crossroads Club, will take place at noon on Nov. 7 at the Seagate Country Club.  The luncheon will celebrate and recognize community solutions to conquering addiction.

“I really realized how many people in one way or another Crossroads has helped,” she said. “Each one of us has an individual story and each story is different. Each person can take from Crossroads what they need without judgment. The kindness of the strangers and individuals I met at Crossroads really helped me.”

With an average of 800 people walking through Crossroads’ doors daily, the club has a mission to provide a physically safe, meeting facility for 12-step groups and to provide and implement programs and seminars that support and enhance the recovery process.

Co-chairing the event with Flinn is Commissioner Bill Bathurst. Mayor Shelly Petrolia will serve as the Honorary Chair.

The event will honor Crossroads Executive Director Tony Allerton for his 60 years of service to the community. Allerton serves in key positions on the Delray Beach Drug Task Force, the Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County, the Delray Beach Playhouse, the Rotary Club of Delray Beach and Wayside House.

“We are so pleased to honor Tony Allerton for his 60 years of service to our community,” Bathurst said. “Through his compassion and experiences, he has touched the lives of countless individuals and serves as an inspiration to all who meet him.”

Featured speakers are State Attorney Dave Aronberg and best-selling author and local resident John Lipscomb, author of “The Painting and the Piano,” and numerous other titles.

“For 37 years, The Crossroads Club has helped tens of thousands of people who suffer from addiction, from local residents to snow birds to visitors to our community,” said Mayor Petrolia. “The Crossroads Club provides a solution to help people discover and maintain sobriety.  This nonprofit helps empower individuals to reemerge as positive contributors to our City.”

Tickets for the luncheon are $175 and can be purchased at thecrossroadsclub.com or by calling 561.278.8004, ext. 106. The Crossroads Club is located at 1700 Lake Ida Road.