Announcing Danny Trejo as Keynote Speaker for our 37th Annual Spring Luncheon

The actor, activist, author and restauranteur Danny Trejo will tell his story of recovery and redemption on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at the Hilton Americas – Houston hotel.

The Council on Recovery is excited to welcome Danny Trejo as the keynote speaker for our 37th Annual Spring Luncheon on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Danny Trejo is an actor, activist, author and restauranteur, best known for his starring roles in the Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Machete film series, as well as recurring roles in the television series Breaking Bad, King of the Hill, and Sons of Anarchy. He most recently appeared in the popular Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett.

Danny Trejo headshot

Trejo struggled with addiction at as early as 12 years old, found sobriety through attending 12-step meetings while in prison, and has been sober for more than five decades. He chronicled his harrowing and inspiring story in his critically acclaimed 2021 memoir Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, & Hollywood.

Since its inception 40 years ago, The Council’s speaker series has promoted a message of hope and healing, and helped to reduce the shame and stigma of substance use and related disorders in the Houston community and beyond. The Council provides treatment and recovery support to individuals affected by substance use and other co-occurring mental health conditions, regardless of their ability to pay. Funds raised through our annual luncheons ensure that no family in need is ever turned away.

To reserve your table today, visit our speaker series website. Individual tickets will be sold at a later date.

Join Us in Celebrating our 75th Anniversary & Mel Taylor’s Legacy

Upon reflection, the first ripple is always memorable. Perhaps it was a small wave, a tiny wrinkle that subtly disturbed the surface, growing wider nonetheless. Other times the ripple is rapid and dynamic … a disruptive momentum that may forever change all touched by the waves. In either instance, a ripple is potentially the most powerful catalyst at the start of a new story.

At The Council on Recovery, we know about the ripple effect, it’s how our story – our journey – began. But the story of The Council is not just ours. It is the story of millions of lives touched by our work, and how their recoveries have rippled out across time to make our world a better place.

We have long understood that every person’s challenge with addiction touches everyone and everything around them. This is why we are so deeply committed to helping every individual discover his or her power to harness the momentum of healing and positively impact others.

For 75 years, we have been a powerful center of hope, spreading waves of light across the dark and lonely landscape of addiction. From our humble beginnings with one phone and a single employee, we sought to reach out, to educate and serve. That focus has endured over the years and especially blossomed under the leadership of President and CEO Mel Taylor. Together, we have created models for treatment and collaboration that have become systems of care across the community. We have trained tens of thousands of professionals and strategically mapped our future to ensure longevity in the communities we serve.  

Join us Friday, April 22, 2021, from 12-1 pm for a special 75th anniversary celebration of The Council on Recovery to honor the work of our founders, board members, partners, staff, clients and our supporters. And help us celebrate the retirement of our President and CEO Mel Taylor and the 28 years of ripples he has created through his vision and servant leadership.

At The Council on Recovery, we have always believed that everyone has a contribution to make to the world. That’s why our work is so important and so powerful. Every life touched by The Council reaches out to another and another. The tide swells with every milestone, and together we are forging a better world.

To sponsor this special event, click here, or text COUNCIL75 to 41444. For questions on this event and sponsorships, contact Special Events at (281) 200-9336 or specialevents@councilonrecovery.org.

Helping Families Find North: A Speaker Series for the Age of COVID-19

This blog post is contributed by Mel Taylor, MSW, President & CEO of The Council on Recovery

The Council on Recovery, like many of Houston’s essential nonprofits, has had to re-imagine how we operate as a result of COVID-19. That includes taking the time re-examine our fundraising efforts, as we shift from live to virtual events. While there have been many questions and uncertainties, we have taken the opportunity to look at what is and isn’t working, what we can do to increase interest in the work of The Council, and how we can promote greater understanding of addiction and co-occurring mental health issues.

For 36 years, The Council’s Luncheon Speaker Series has been our major fundraiser and friend-raiser, through which we have touched thousands of lives and raised thousands of vital dollars, allowing us to honor our pledge to turn no one away. The new COVID landscape has challenged this effort, so we went to work, boldly asking: what would we like to see in a new event as part of the Speaker Series? How can we increase our outreach? And how can we reach an even larger virtual audience that needs to hear our message?

The result was a painstaking examination of what The Council is and always has been in the face of crisis: leading, steady, reliable, and always here to help people find their way back to recovery from behavioral health disorders. Indeed, it is at the core of The Council’s mission to help anyone with an alcohol, drug or related issue.

We spent many hours re-thinking and re-imagining what was required to create a virtual event that would capture enthusiasm, create curiosity and educate the community. Now, we are proud to present a new look and new brand for the speaker series: Finding North. The concept of Finding North speaks to the heart of who The Council is: a trusted Houston institution, always here to help families find their way.

We remain most grateful to The Waggoners Foundation for their continued support in presenting the Speaker Series. With our new look and new ideas, we hope to increase those who can be helped from our efforts in honoring the life and memory of Jay Waggoner who died from alcoholism. Together with your help, we can help even more families find north out of the maze of addiction. We hope to “see” you on November as we introduce Finding North with our fabulous speaker Sugar Ray Leonard.

To learn more about our Speaker Series, or to become a sponsor for our first Finding North event, click here.

A Fundraiser’s Perspective on the Value of Donor Trust

Guest Blog by Judy Johnson, Director of Development, The Council on Recovery

At a charitable event recently, I was visiting with other guests when the topic of careers came up. I shared that I was in fundraising, and her reaction was immediate, “How can donors know who to trust anymore?”

Judy Johnson

As both a fundraiser and a donor, this question is of particular importance to me, and – admittedly – I’ll take any opportunity to share my passion and perspective on philanthropy. In my view, philanthropy is about connection. The decision to give is deeply personal, and whether we give twenty dollars or twenty thousand dollars, our gifts symbolize our support of and belief in an organization’s mission. We want to know our gift makes a difference and that our hard-earned dollars, once given, are wisely used to advance a shared goal. Continue reading “A Fundraiser’s Perspective on the Value of Donor Trust”