Mottley Law Firm March 2020

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and mental health in this country. They are going to focus their energy, resources, and passion on doing their part to eliminate the stigma toward those who suffer from addiction and mental illness. As Taylor Sr. explains, “Our plight, our journey from now until the time we are no longer able, is to spend our energy trying to help those who are facing the same struggle that we faced.” Anyone who knows the Rhodes family knows they are up for the challenge. They are fighters, and they are stepping into this arena with both feet. That’s why I was so happy to see their journey connect them with my cousin, newly elected Virginia Delegate Carrie Coyner. Carrie proposed a bill in the legislature this year to create a pilot program to address the needs of students who struggle with addiction or substance use in our schools: a regional “recovery high school” in Chesterfield County that would serve all Region I schools. If House Bill 928 passes, the recovery high school will exist in partnership with health agencies, local and state governments, police, legal agencies, and Chesterfield County Public Schools. But this isn’t a new concept, as there are over 40 recovery high schools across the United States. While every school functions a little differently, their goals remain the same — to help students maintain recovery and access their education in a safe and nurturing environment. The proposed recovery high school will offer daily counseling, access to resources that support and strengthen students’ emotional health, and a comprehensive recovery program. Ideally, this would support the health and well-being of every student while they make progress toward earning their high school diploma and possibly reintegrating back into a traditional education setting. Taylor Sr. has summed up his family’s daily mission as one that honors Taylor Jr. “Every day, I try to honor Taylor because he’s worth honoring.” The recovery high school project is just one aspect of what the Rhodes family is doing to honor their son and fight for our community. I, for one, am so impressed. To learn more about their story, I hope you will watch this six-minute production published by Weill Cornell Medical Center and share it with anyone it might help: Youtu.be/2h7Cz37DzjM. There is also a Facebook page in memory of Taylor Jr. that shines a spotlight on Taylor’s fight and the family’s mission to turn their pain into a greater purpose. To see what they are doing, ask to join Taylor’s page, which can be found at Facebook.com/groups/712476749181691. -Kevin W. Mottley

I love St. Patrick’s Day, and while my family doesn’t have any particular traditions related to the holiday, our history is deeply rooted within Irish heritage. My ancestors fled England during a time of religious and political upheaval and found sanctuary in Ireland before moving to America in the 1700s, so I feel connected to Ireland and its culture. While there are St. Patrick’s Day celebrations all over Richmond, there is one in particular that I’ll be attending, and I think everyone should be aware of it too: the Church Hill Irish Festival. The event is held on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 and takes place at 25th and E. Broad Street in Church Hill. During the festival, children will learn the importance of the holiday beyond little green leprechauns through games, face painting, and crafts related to the Emerald Isle. In addition to the fun activities for kids, there are over 30 Irish-themed vendors in attendance every year. The Ladies of St. Patrick’s will be serving their famous “Irish Surprise,” which includes corned beef, cabbage, and mashed potatoes. Rare Olde Times, a well-known Irish pub that I am known to duck into once in a while, will be serving their best fish and chips. Along with these vendors, St. Patrick’s Grill and Curbside Creations will also be selling local cuisine. This year will even feature Guinness tastings from a local Guinness Ambassador for all the beer lovers out there! While you’re enjoying all the St. Patrick’s Day-themed activities, you’ll also be making a difference, as all proceeds benefit the St. Baldrick’s Society and their fight against childhood cancer. The Church Hill Association, the Church Hill Crime Watch, Richmond Hill, Child Saver’s Clinic of Richmond, St. John’s Church, the St. Peter’s Meals Program, St. Francis Home, the Greater Fulton Neighborhood Resource Center, and many other local causes also benefit from the event’s proceeds. Free parking will be available at 16th and E. Broad Street. Parking and shuttling will also be available at the Stone Brewery in Fulton with drop- offs at 24th and E. Broad Street and 26th and E. Broad Street. So get your tickets and help make a difference this St Patrick’s Day before the event sells out! You can find more information at ChurchHillIrishFestival.com. JOIN US FOR THE CHURCH HI LL IRI SH FEST IVAL ! A CELEBRAT ION THAT MAKES A D I FFERENCE

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