It all came about when John Akar, co-owner of Cava tapas and wine bar in Portsmouth, NH, was invited to attend a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis in the Seacoast, by Renee Plummer, VP Marketing for Two International Group. After the meeting, which was attended by local business leaders, law enforcement and social services leaders, a light bulb idea went off for John. He knew that Sandi Coyle had a vision for a recovery center — but had no place to land. He told her to keep him informed and that once she had a location for the center, he would spearhead the effort to bring the robust Portsmouth Hospitality community together in support of this important cause. Fast forward to July 12, 2016 and the Grand Opening of the Safe Harbor Recovery Center on Islington Street in Portsmouth. The vision is now a reality. And, like all small nonprofits, will need support to remain viable.
Enter Hungry for Hope, an evening where you can enjoy food from up to twenty local restaurants, along with wine and beer from all over the world – all at One Harbour Place, owned by Plummer and her company, Two International Group. The goal of this event is to raise $40,000 for the Safe Harbor Recovery Center. The funds will be used to help sustain the fledgling organization and for much needed supplies and materials to support their constituents. Beyond the money, Akar and Plummer, hope to set an example. They understand that one event will not solve the drug epidemic, but they want to demonstrate a new way of thinking about a solution. By pulling together so many leaders in the Seacoast, they hope the Seacoast will lead the way to show how a community can work together to make a dent in the problem. And, they hope that this demonstration of community support will become a bigger part of the solution by raising awareness and offering hope.