First Contact Addiction Ministries Logo
First Contact Addiction Ministries Logo

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Date:  October 30, 2019
Contact: Bonnie Edge  Phone: 828-435-2180
Email: Bonnie.Edge@firstcontactwnc.org
Web:  www.FirstContactWNC.org

First Contact Ministries, Inc announces the appointment of one new board member.

The staff and current board of First Contact Ministries are happy to welcome new board member Graham Fields.

First Contact Ministries is working hard to extend its reach and include engaging new community leaders to promote and support positive changes for individuals and families struggling with substance abuse and addiction. 

Graham Fields, a native of Asheville, North Carolina, attended the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with highest
honors and distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass
Communication. His honors thesis, “Oak Trees Among Bushes: A Study of
Appalachian Stereotypes in the Beverly Hillbillies,” reflects his
passion for the people of Western North Carolina. He lives in Fletcher
and is married to Leslie Fields, a native of North Wilkesboro, who is an
educator with Henderson County Public Schools.

Fields began his career with the Baptist State Convention of North
Carolina. He worked with a variety of advertising and public relations
agencies including EB Wall & Associates, Bill Kamp Creative and Holland
& Holland.

In 2003, US Senator Elizabeth Dole appointed him as her Western State
Director, serving approximately 1 million constituents in North
Carolina’s 33 western counties. The federal position was responsible
for legislative policy, constituent services and managing relationships
with the region’s elected officials, federal agencies, state
departments, local governments, non-profit organizations, businesses and
community groups.

In 2009, Fields accepted a position with Park Ridge Health (now
AdventHealth) serving in Administration as Assistant to the President.
Focused on community outreach, business development and strategic
planning, his role is to represent AdventHealth and engage numerous
constituencies throughout the region to better understand and serve the
area’s unique health care needs.

He is active in the community and serves on numerous area boards and
committees including: Board Member and Former Chair, Henderson County
Partnership for Health, Board Member, Henderson County Chamber of
Commerce, Chair, Henderson County Chamber of Commerce Workforce
Development Division, Former President, Henderson County Education
Foundation, Board Member, Henderson County Board of Public Health, Board
Member, Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, Board Member, Open
Arms Pregnancy Center, Former Board Member, United Way of Henderson
County, Board Member, Fletcher Fire and Rescue and  Asheville Area
Chamber of Commerce Leadership Circle Advisory Board Member.

He and his wife are members of Biltmore Baptist Church and enjoy
traveling, hiking and music. Fields plays the mandolin, collects
southern folk art and has completed large sections of the Appalachian
Trail. They have a son named Alexander who is eight and has been to 50
states and 52 national parks.

The new member joins a seven member board that oversees First Contact Ministries’ finances and strategic planning. 

Safety a Priority as “Used” Needle Problem Increases in Store Restrooms

Everybody loves a good convenience store.  Fast service, clean restrooms, and hot coffee make them the ideal place to stop off in a jiffy.  For Norm’s Minit Mart, a family-owned, local convenience store chain, keeping the restrooms clean had become more of a challenge as the drug crisis in Henderson County worsens. 

“People were leaving used drug needles on the floor, in the garbage bins, and flushing them down the toilets”, said Norm’s VP Michael Gordon. Cleaning up was a costly and dangerous process. When one of the employees was stuck with a needle while emptying the trash, Norm’s knew they had to do something to increase safety conditions for their staff and customers.  

Their solution?  Permanently affix used-needle “sharps” containers to the restroom walls.   But, Norm’s didn’t stop there.  They contacted First Contact with an idea for offering needle users with a more lasting type of assistance; an “advertisement” of sorts for First Contact’s services that would be attached directly to the disposal container. The idea was simple, but impactful.  First Contact provided adhesive stickers, with an offer for help, and a number to call.

Months later, Norm’s is pleased to report that restroom patrons ARE using the containers for needle disposal, making the rooms safer for everyone.  First Contact is measuring success in their own way.

To date, three individuals report coming directly from a Norm’s Minit Mart restroom to the office for help with addiction. One person was placed into the hospital for detox within a couple of hours, with arrangements secured for entry into a rehab facility after their medical needs were addressed.  “This is a classic example of what types of services First Contact provides for individuals who are ready to make the change”, notes FC Director Craig Halford.

Testimonial Story from a Family Member:

First Contact loves to hear “happy” news from individuals and family members who have been helped by our ministry along the way. Here’s what one family member had to say about the sharps boxes at Norm’s Minit Mart.

“I saw this (sharps container) in a bathroom at a convenience store today. It is a very sad time we live in. It breaks my heart. I have lost so many loved ones to addiction. I have lost my whole family to addiction. My kids are the only family I have with me and it is my biggest fear for them. I do my best to be completely open and honest with them about addiction, and the loved ones they once had in their lives that are no longer here because of it. I’m sharing this picture because thanks to First Contact Ministries and their help, I have my sister back after years of addiction. She isn’t close by but she is healthy and clean and keeps fighting. If it wasn’t for such loving and caring people to stick by her, not give up on her, and to continuously pray for her she may not be here today. If you need help and support [with addiction], contact these wonderful people. They truly are a blessing!❤”

The Free Clinics of Hendersonville will be offering a Flu Vaccine Clinic on 1/17/19, from 12 – 4:00 pm, at TFC, 841 Case St., Hendersonville, NC 28792. All patients will receive a vaccine regardless of insurance status. If you have insurance, please bring your card. In the event your insurance does not cover it, Walgreens pharmacy will cover the cost.

Please call (828) 697-8422 with any questions, and to let them know you’re coming (so they will have enough vaccines). TFC nurses will also be providing blood sugar and blood pressure checks. Thank you, Walgreens and TFC!

Come run/walk for a great cause! All 2018 proceeds to benefit First Contact.

It’s time to lace ’em up for a day of family fun and outdoor exercise that benefits a great cause! The Second Annual Thomas A. Bryson Memorial Deer Dash 5K will be held on Saturday October 6th. We had an amazing turn out last year with over 400 people in attendance but goal is to go even bigger this October. All race proceeds from the event will go to First Contact Ministries, a drug rehabilitation center based in Hendersonville. The Kid’s 1-Mile run will begin at 9AM followed immediately by the 5K. Local food trucks will also be in attendance so bring your appetites as well as your running shoes!

If you are not able to participate there is a place to donate through this website.  Any and all donations and participants are greatly appreciated.  Parking for this race will be off of Hooper’s Lane. We will have parking attendants there for directions and help.  The first 350 participants to register receive a FREE Deer Dash embroidered beanie cap.

REGISTRATION FEE: $35 per adult, $20 per child (10 and under)

Register here. 

First Contact has a new Grief Support Group for Mothers

When:  Starts September 18, 2018 (then the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month)
Who:  Any mother who has lost a child to addiction
Where: Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Dr., Hendersonville, NC 28739.  Room A210.  Click here for directions.
Time:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

This open share group is for mothers that are grieving the loss of their child due to addiction.  Come join with other moms that share your journey and find support, encouragement, and understanding.