April 21, 2011
Central City Concern
Laura’s Place Remarks

Watch video of the remarks.

See photos from the fundraiser.

I am Brad Mersereau, and I am a grateful brother. Laura struggled for a quarter-century with her addiction to alcohol and died 4 months and 6 days after her 46th birthday, on June 13, 1999. I am proud that she attended AA meetings in her final six months and acknowledged her disease. Sadly her health complications could not be reversed.

Since her death, my macro-mission has been to make Laura’s memory matter. To quote Ashley Judd, I am inexorably an advocate when I allow my empathy to be engaged. I am grateful for alliances with the Oregon Partnership, Union Gospel Mission, YWCA, Southeast Uplift, Portland Rescue Mission, William Temple House and Central City Concern. Laura’s Place is a dream come true. I am supremely thankful that women and their children have the opportunity to transition with transparency, and live the professionally guided one-day-at-a time life that offers promise and infinite possibility.

Congruent with mission, our website affirms addiction recovery and prevention. We offer an anonymous Sobriety Anniversary page on which over 350 participants collectively celebrate 4985 sober years. 117 youngsters have offered to honor their minds, bodies, and spirits without drugs or alcohol on our Sobriety Pledge page. Joseph A. Califano Jr., through his Columbia University CASA research, documents that children who don’t drink or drug before 21 have little probability for future addiction. I believe that a diversified proactive approach is the best way to honor my little sister, and I thank all Laura’s Place family graduates, residents, and staff for embracing serenity through sobriety and effective teamwork. What better way to make Laura’s memory matter!

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