01112022 Divided Sky Foundation

Melanie Gulde of the Divided Sky Foundation poses for a photo alongside Ludlow Rotary Club president Art Randolph.

LUDLOW, Vt. — The Ludlow Rotary Club’s Jan. 4 luncheon meeting featured Divided Sky Foundation Program Director Melanie Gulde speaking to Rotarians and guests about plans for the future drug and alcohol recovery program on Fox Lane.

The Divided Sky Foundation, founded by Trey Anastasio, purchased what was once the old weight loss clinic facility in Ludlow. Anastasio of the band Phish, himself 15 years sober, launched the Divided Sky Foundation to deliver help to those affected by substance use. Vermont, his adopted home state, is a natural place to begin this chapter of giving back. Divided Sky is dedicated to delivering quality care and compassionate programming to those affected by alcoholism and addiction.

Acquiring the facility site was the first step in a plan that includes building renovations and program development. The program is tentatively slated to open by the end of 2022. Objections from neighbors have delayed the facility’s opening.

The purchase was made possible in part by funds raised in 2020 during Anastasio’s “The Beacon Jams,” an eight-week virtual residency presented live from New York City’s historic Beacon Theatre. Donations were encouraged throughout the run, with fans ultimately contributing more than $1.2 million.

“Alcohol is an addiction that seems to be overlooked at times,” Gulde said. “95,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.” She emphasized that addiction to alcohol is the most prevalent addiction facing our society.

The program’s goal is to be a local asset for giving back to the community. The nonprofit program plans to serve people from all income levels. Planned care services include maintaining recovery, with plans and programs tailored to individual guests’ needs. In addition, the program plans to offer job training and workforce reintegration. Education opportunities will also be offered to prepare guests who need them with certification in skills and trades.

If you or someone you know needs help for a substance use disorder, contact SAMHSA.gov, or call 800-662-4357 to find a treatment center near you.

Anyone interested in learning more about joining Rotary is invited to contact Kevin Barnes, Membership Chairman at 802-228-8877, to receive an invitation to a meeting.

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