June 2023 | Issue 31
The TriCircle Connection
We inspire families and individuals to overcome the disease of
addiction by creating real, long-term solutions!
Click here to visit our website today!
From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

It’s All About Perspective

When we consider the disease of addiction, many things come to mind. Decidedly, our individual perspectives are deeply dependent on our vantage points. Where do we sit? There are so many angles: the rare bystander, looking in from a distance, whose life has fortunately remained untouched; the friend who is aware and helplessly watching a classmate slowly spiral down into darkness, not knowing where to turn for help; the person whose entire life has been taken over and destroyed by their substance use; the mom and dad who are putting together the dreaded photo collage of their daughter’s happier days for her wake and funeral service.

Let’s face it, no matter where we stand, either we are part of the shame, stigma and judgment, or we are part of positive forward motion and solution based thinking. There is rarely a neutral ground.

A harsh comment or a judgmental thought contributes to the former, while compassionate consideration of the many complicated circumstances that lead a person into the captivating, dark and ruthless world of this horrible disease contributes to the latter. 

With a keen focus on resources and saving lives, TriCircle continues to move forward. We recently had the privilege of participating in the CT Barber Expo at Mohegan Sun. A huge thank you goes out to Jay “Majors” Raposo and to all those who had a hand in executing this very successful and highly acclaimed annual event.

TriCircle was there with our amazing volunteers to build awareness, compassion and to distribute resources like Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) information and 68 lifesaving Narcan kits to CT barber shops, salons, and families. Our partnerships and collaborations are at the core of our ability to reach so many people with the hope that lies in our mission and message. Heartfelt thanks goes out to Andrew Penna BHcare APW, Carolyn Wilson, Ledge Light Health Dist., Eric Reynolds’s SERAC, Janet McGovern TriCircle BOD Member, Julie Lyons Philip Foundation, from Women and Family Center Open DOHR John Johnson, Rachel Makula-Smith, and Marie Beltran, Jamie Willis RSS, a graduating classmate, and future stylist Kristy Yeneson. Clearly, these folks are all part of the solution and forward thinking that save lives.

As we collaborate and consider the many ways we can work together to stay focused on the thoughts and actions that create solutions, we will continue to evolve, gaining strength and momentum as we grow. Where do you sit? Together WE are Stronger, so please step up and stick with us!

Visit Our New Website!
Welcome to Tricircle.org

It has been a long time in the making, and many hands have played a part in bringing it to you! Hard work, persistence, teamwork and perseverance - that is what Tricircle is made of!
Please click on the link above or the image below,
and let us know what you think!
TriCircle 2023 Memorial Scholarship
Applications Being Accepted Until June 7
Help Us Spread the Word!

TriCircle seeks to identify people who reside in Connecticut and have demonstrated a commitment to further their collegiate or vocational studies. We recognize that the epidemic of substance use disorder exists here in our state and that tragically thousands of wonderful people have died due to the disease of addiction. We have come together to continue this scholarship opportunity, originally created in honor of Michael F. Gagnon II. The TriCircle Memorial Scholarship will be awarding one $2,500 scholarship in 2023. Scholarship applications and information are available via the links below, by email to trish@tricircle.org, or can be picked up at our new office location: TriCircle, 169 Colony Street, 2nd Floor, Room 28, Meriden, CT 06451.
The signed, completed scholarship application and all supporting documentation must be received in one packet and postmarked
no later than June 7, 2023.

Access the scholarship forms here:
This retreat is for the self-care of parents, guardians and loved ones who have had someone in their lives die due to a substance related passing. We will be providing a support group meeting, yoga, meditation,
art project, refreshments, dinner, and smores by the bonfire.
This retreat is for the self-care of parents, guardians, and loved ones who have someone in their lives affected by the disease of addiction. We will be providing a support group meeting, yoga, meditation, art project, refreshments, dinner,
and smores by the bonfire.
Self Care Retreats made possible by funding from DMHAS.
Our June Spotlight

Dr. Pamela Potemri and Tamarack Lodge
Tamarack Lodge, a long time supporter of TriCircle, recently hosted another amazing Music Festival, featuring incredible music, vendors, raffles, food, and fun. The musical lineup included four of the region's hottest country bands: Nick Bosse & The Northern Roots, The Liz Spencer Band, Back Rhodes and Nick Casey & The Whole Damn Band. Collectively, these bands offer a wide variety of country music.

TriCircle has had the honor and privilege over the past couple years,of collaborating with the new owner of Tamarack Lodge. Her name is Dr. Pamela Potemri. She and her husband, Joe, not only have an incredible vision for Tamarack Lodge, but also have a purpose in this life that brings meaning and joy to at risk kids, grade 6 to age 22, who, for one reason or another, are not able to succeed in the traditional classroom/school setting. We encourage you to visit their website, learn about what the CT Coastal Academy offers and read some of the incredible testimonials: https://ctcoastalacademy.org/

So, what IS happening at Tamarack, you may ask?? The usual fanfare - weddings, live music on Friday nights, great food, friendly staff, retreats, concerts, festivals, and camping are all taking place. Exquisite safari tents have been purchased and will soon be ready for guests to enjoy glamorous summertime tent glamping! Even the existing cabins have been completely renovated, and the main guest house has had a makeover as well. A fun family event, the Twisted Trails 5K Color Run, is coming up on July 23 to benefit four local nonprofits, including TriCircle!

In addition to all of the above, something magical is happening at Tamarack Lodge every day! Tamarack Lodge has become an extension of Pam and Joe's program at the CT Coastal Academy in Essex. In a peaceful and enchanting setting, students are offered hands on experiences that focus on learning and self discovery. Certainly, the kids master their academics successfully, but they also learn and build skills in the trades, construction, carpentry, gardening, cooking, composting, landscaping, organic farming, even chicken raising!! While CT Coastal Academy provides educational, vocational, therapeutic and transitional services to students in Grade 6 through age 22, Tamarack Lodge extends the unique program offered at the academy. In countless ways, the students of the academy are using their five senses to grow, evolve, build confidence, give of themselves and develop their own purpose and love of life! They are learning to embrace and adore who they really are and how they can have a positive impact on the world around them! They have so much to offer the world!!

When all seems lost in the traditional setting, Pam, Joe and their amazing team offer renewed hope for the young people who would otherwise fall straight through the cracks. As their vision unfolds. Pam and Joe inspire a sense of awe, co-creation, divine energy and, most of all, hope!

“We need better solutions," said Ceci Iliff, who serves on two TriCircle advisory boards and has recently become a member of the Tamarack Team, "and we can learn a lot from the program that Pam and Joe have created. It will change lives and make our community healthier and stronger in so many ways as these amazingly resilient, talented, young people graduate from their program and make their way into the world! We are honored to partner with Pam and Joe as we seek to create real, long term solutions for the vulnerable demographic TriCircle serves. Our mission and vision are perfectly aligned."
Together WE are Stronger!
2023 Save the Dates
Wed, June 7, and Wed, June 21 - TriCircle's Drop In Setback, 1741 Pub & Grill, 70 Lyman Rd, Middlefield, CT

June 2023 - TBD - TriCircle Online Auction, stay tuned for details

Sun, July 23 - The Twisted Trails 5K Color Run at Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown, CT

Sat, August 26 - 2nd Annual Raianna's Run for Opioid & Overdose Awareness, New Haven Elks Club #25, 80 Old Broadway W. North Haven, CT
Fri, September 1 - Foreigner Historic Farewell Tour at Mohegan Sun (details and ticket sales coming soon)

Sat, September 23 - Outrun Addiction, Enfield Education Annex, 1254 North Maple Street, Enfield, CT

Sun, October 8 - With A Rose, hosted by Philip's Foundation, Inc. (details TBA soon)

Sat, October 14 - Hope & Support Retreat, Story Barn, Somers, CT

Sun, October 15 - Hope After Loss Retreat, Story Barn, Somers, CT

Sun, October 22 - TriCircle's Annual Gala Brunch, Wallingford Elks Lodge, Wallingford, CT

Historic Farewell Tour
Friday, September 1st
Mohegan Sun


We are back at our regular Setback location - dates and times indicated below. Join us for some food, friends and fun!


Together WE are Stronger!
TriCircle is looking for people who are action oriented and passionate about our cause, or have a need for community service hours, to work with the Scholarship Committee or the Fundraising & Events Advisory Board. We welcome you to join us
please contact: info@tricircle.org for
information about joining Fundraising & Events!
We can always use more helping hands.

Our Scholarship Committee is hard at work and our next meeting will be announced soon! If you are interested in honoring your loved one through our TriCircle Scholarship, please inquire about making a donation or joining the committee by contacting Trish Williams at: trish@tricircle.org

We are looking for volunteers for the
Twisted Trails 5K Color Run at the enchanting and beautiful Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown, CT. If you need community service hours or would like to enjoy day filled with fun and festivities
while serving others, we would love to hear from you!
The proceeds from this event benefit TriCircle and four other
CT nonprofits. To learn more, contact Ceci at: cecischaritychallenge@gmail.com

Join us on Sunday, July 23, at Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown, CT

Hope & Support Groups provide a safe and confidential space for parents, guardians and others who are concerned about a loved one's substance use or addiction. All are welcomed and encouraged to utilize these services at no cost. Link to the full rotating schedule of our Thursday evening Hope & Support Group is below.

Hope After Loss Groups offer a place where everyone understands. There is no judgment or blame, but rather support and understanding. Join us as we work together on this journey of healing. All are welcomed and encouraged to utilize these services at no cost. Link to the full rotating schedule of our Monday evening
Hope After Loss Group meetings is below.

Changes to our
Support Group Meetings
have begun.

Please click on the links below to see the full schedules for Mondays and Thursdays at each location and find out when and where there is a meeting near you. Zoom options will continue to be available.
Please email Ana for more details!


169 Colony Street
Second Floor, Room 28
Meriden, CT 06451

We are pleased to be located inside the Women and Families Center. This will allow for wonderful opportunities for us to expand the reach of our support services and resources as we cultivate this collaborative partnership. This location also provides increased accessibility with bus and train stops close by.

Together WE are Stronger!

Your input is greatly appreciated!

If any of our readers know of an organization, group or idea that will add strength, availability and reach
to our collaborations and services, please
reach out to us at info@tricircle.org.

Do you enjoy reading our newsletter?

Do you know someone who might also like to
receive The TriCircle Connection each month?
Click here to sign them up.

Visit our website to learn more about
TriCircle and consider a donation today!
PayPal Giving and Venmo are also ways to give.
Click the images below or scan the QR code to find out how!