The Turning Point Celebrates First Anniversary
Published: May 25th, 2023
By: Kelli Miller

The Turning Point celebrates first anniversary The Turning Point of Chenango County Board President Kimberly Lorraine, Director Debra Berrios, Grant Consultant Susan Yates, Board Vice President Zoe Aponte- Gonzalez, and Board member Jim Everad, Financial Director Ryan Alsheimer, Board Member Ralph Pastor, and Board Member Michael McAneny, gathered yesterday to celebrate the center’s one year anniversary and their many accomplishments since opening. (Photo by Kelli Miller)

NORWICH — On May 24, The Turning Point, also known as The Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties (FORDO) located at 24 East Main Street, celebrated their one year anniversary with a networking and luncheon event.

The event included Narcan training, staff and sponsor introductions and a follow up with cake and coffee.

Executive Director Debra Berrios said, “It is with great honor, that we are here today, celebrating a full year. The RC Smith Foundation is the main reason why the lights are on, the doors are open and there’s staff here. They took a chance with us and they decided to fund us for two years to plant ourselves in this community. It is a great honor they are here today and we would like to acknowledge them.”

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A plaque was presented to the RC Smith Foundation, thanking them for their generosity.

RC Smith board member and Oxford resident Bill Troxell said, “Robert Smith was a very simple person. He loved Norwich and Chenango County and lived his whole life here. He worked at Victory, which became Great American. Robert established his foundation in 2005 and leaving his significant estate for the betterment of the residents of Chenango County.”

“Since its inception, the Smith foundation has granted approximately $13 million dollars to over 50 organizations around Chenango County. One of the organizations is The Turning Point of Chenango County and the foundation provided the original grant money necessary to establish this home, this facility, this project, and this hope, providing a much needed service.,” Troxell said.

“We want to congratulate and thank Debra Berrios, Program Manager KyleLaFever and the staff for establishing and developing this center over the past year. Much congratulations on behalf of the RC Smith foundation,” he added.

The Board members were also present and received flowers. Board Vice President Zoe Aponte explained the organization has been around since 2000 and Debra Berrios has been leading it for 5 years of the 23 years.

“All of the expansion that has been happening has been under Berrios leadership.” Aponte said.

“Alcoholism and addiction is really pervasive and in one way or another it effects all of our families. The support we’re getting from the RC Smith foundation and from other organizations is critical to the success of this organization,” she added.

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Board member Ken Lewis said he was happy Turning Point is here and the impact they have made on the community in such a short period of time is huge.

Board member Michael McAneny said he had the privilege of being associated with Friends of Recovery since it’s inception in 2000. He added he was excited that roots have finally taken in Chenango County and thanked the members of Chenango County and Norwich community for their help.

Berrios explained Chenango County also has been extremely generous with them in many ways and they were awarded a nice sum of money from the Opioids Settlement Funds. Congressman Molinaros’ office called and congratulated them. They were awarded a nearly million dollar Building Communities of Recovery SAMHSA grant for Chenango county.

The Turning Point Recovery Community and Outreach Center provide recovery Support Services to help initiate and/or sustain long-term recovery and prevent re-occurrence by building recovery capital, demonstrating hope, inviting all to participate, promoting volunteerism, and creating public awareness.

Berrios said, “We’re impacting the community by bringing an awareness and decreasing stigma, providing Narcan education, care recovery support and a place where people feel safe and seek sobriety. Approximately 75 people a week walk through our doors .

In our future, I see more staffing, expansion of hours and service and expanding our actual location.

The Turning Point hours are 9 a.m to 5 p.m Monday through Friday.

Berrios said her motto is, “Stigma stops here.”

The Turning Point envisions a world where recovery from addiction is supported and celebrated as a common reality.

FORDO currently has two other Turning Point centers, located at 22 Elm Street in Oneonta and 84 Main Street in Delhi. Roberts said she hopes the centers have helped to end the stigma around addiction, and made communities feel safe.

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To schedule an appointment call 607-373-3825. Additional information about FORDO can be found on the Friends of Recovery of Delaware and Otsego Counties, Inc. Facebook page, and on their website