By: Sharoll Jackson
February 23, Los Angeles (The Hollywood Times) 2/23/2017 – Entertainment show anchor, sportscaster, radio legend, and author, Pat O’Brien, was recognized for his sustainable sobriety and his touching and insightful memoir entitled “I’ll Be Right Back After This”. True to his nature, his story is robust with absorbing and compelling tales about sports legends, celebrities, and his personal struggle and recovery from alcoholism, and it carries a positive message of hope. The event was held at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Actor, Bruce Davison (X-Men, Insidious 4), hosted the celebration and talked about his shared history with his friend, Pat. Like minded narrative was shared by other co-hearts: author DeJuan “DJ” Verrett (Sons of Anarchy) with a spoken word performance; actor Tony Denison as a presenter; singer and performer Sherri Lewis with a musical performance; musician Joe Walsh (The Eagles) as a special guest and presenter; actress Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) as a presenter, actress Rachelle Carson-Begley and actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. (Bold and Beautiful) as presenters; and comedian and performer Sarge with a comedy routine. The ambiance of love, humor, support, sensitivity and honor was deepened by the presence of a familial bond that was shared by the entire audience. O’Brien was deeply appreciative and moved.
The Experience, Strength, and Hope Award event occurs annually created by Writers In Treatment, an organization that supports recovery and the arts. Founder Leonard Buschel said they were “proud to honor O’Brien at this year’s awards show… his story is poignant and profound … people from all walks will find his successes and misadventures wildly entertaining and inspirational.”
Writers in Treatment’s mission is to help people in the writing industry facing the challenges of alcoholism, drug addiction, and other self-destructive behaviors to find treatment sources for their illness. In addition, the multi-day REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium is produced by the organization as a platform to provide honest films about the challenges of addiction, alcoholism, mental disorders, treatment and recovery.
Some of the past honorees include: actress Mackenzie Phillips, Christopher Kennedy Lawford; Academy Award winner, Lou Gossett, Jr; astronaut Buzz Aldrin; co-founder of Duran Duran, John Taylor; acclaimed author, Carrie White; and actor/author Joe Pantoliano.
The inspirational event clearly celebrated a commonality of gratitude and admiration for Pat O’Brien, and his kindness, willingness and courage to share his personal journey and to reach out to anyone to offer help.