Moving Rhinestones and Rawhides from

October to December Was a Success

By Bridget Bauer

Sometimes what seems like a problem turns into a success.

Because of a scheduling conflict with St. Paul’s Church, ASCENT Recovery Residences’ annual Rhinestones and Rawhide event was moved from October to December. The change allowed Teddy Steen, executive director, and her committee to add a Christmas theme to the event.

“It was one of our best fundraisers,” Steen said. “People were very generous and there was a warmth surrounding the whole event! Or maybe it was good because I literally could not talk! Aaron Brown had to do the talking for me, and I just did the hand motions! Luckily, for once, I wrote things down. I am sure God was watching over me; I never write things down!”

As in the past, the night consisted of a silent auction and a country store. Additionally, the local gospel group, The Goulds, ended the night with a Christmas concert. Steen said the music put the spirit of love, hope and Christmas in everyone’s heart.

During the event, Steen and Brown gave insight into ASCENT’s Vision. This year, she put faces to the vision and recognized the alumni who were at the event.

“ASCENT’s vision is to help change the course of men’s lives who struggle with substance abuse,” Steen said. “It is so they will have the skills and the heart to meet the needs of their children, spouses, community and society.”

Below are the names of the alumni who attended the 2018 Rhinestones and Rawhide event. Many others are out there living the lives they were meant to live. Most of them are involved with helping the new ASCENT residents through their recovery journey.

Tyler, married to Sarah, has a child, and they own their own business.

Mikey has custody of his twins, and his oldest daughter is now in college at Missouri Southern State University. He is a single dad with 100 percent of the responsibility.

Clayton, married to Mauri, and they have 3 children–yours, mine and ours. He works for a company that doesn’t normally hire people with his kind of past and recently regained custody of a son to whom he had lost all rights. Now he is part-time staff at ASCENT.

Wesley has a full-time job and is in college to become a firefighter.

Joel is married to Samantha and they have three children–yours, mine and ours, and is the supervisor of a construction crew.

David, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, has gotten his career back on track and is at the Joplin Globe rebranding the Globe’s JMag and is a freelance writer for other publications.

Sam, a recent graduate, is a supervisor on his job, and he and Jessica are starting a life together.

Steve has a full-time job with a great company and just became engaged to Christy.

Michelle, who helped at the event, has a relationship with her father that she would never have dreamed possible.

Lonnie got his career as a lineman back, and he and Jennifer purchased a home on 22 acres. He adopted Jennifer’s son Casey, and his daughter is here from California with her baby.

Jennifer works for Preferred Family and is a case manager and court liaison for teenagers struggling with substance abuse.

Stacey got a college degree, is in graduate school and started her own business.

Fina entered college, married and had a child and now is the assistant to one of the prominent attorneys in the area.

Julia found her faith at St. Paul’s and continues to learn and grow in that area.