DENVER (CBS4) – Toasting the New Year with champagne or other spirits is a common tradition, but for some that’s not an option. A Colorado nonprofit is helping to provide a sober and safe celebration for those wanting to ring in the New Year without having to drink alcohol.
“When I think it was 1989 was the last time I took a drink, still blows my mind.”
Before then Duke Rumely struggled with alcoholism.
“Without realizing it, it was an obsession and even if I planned on not drinking or only having a little, my mind would change its own mind and I would drink.”
His parents would get the young man into rehab, he emerged a totally different person.
“I had been sober a couple of months, and I was no longer the black sheep of the family, and I hadn’t gotten in trouble in a couple of months and I thought, maybe I’ll try this for a little while.”
That was 29 years ago.
“I’m very proud of him and the journey he’s been on,” said his daughter Jordan who turns 21 next month.
This year, the two founded a nonprofit focused on providing sober and safe experiences in situations where alcohol is common.
“It’s just nice knowing that there’s a safe place that I can go where if I don’t want to drink, and I don’t want to be around that, that I go there and know that I’m safe,” said Jordan.
Since June, 1,000 people have participated in 30 different sober events they’ve organized.
“If you don’t want to be around whisky-drunk-guy, then we have a spot for you,” said Duke.
New Year’s Eve, a group will join in a sober tail gate inside the Pepsi Center and then watch the Colorado Avalanche hockey game together.
“There’s 100 of us having a good time, staying sober on New Year’s Eve and that’s pretty amazing,” said Duke.
“It’s been super fun bringing my friends and after they’re like, ‘Wow, I had a really great time with your dad and with all of those people, and I just didn’t really think I could have that fun of a time sober,'” said Jordan.
And the party’s just getting started for this fledgling nonprofit with the New Year bringing even more opportunities for the sober community to celebrate safely together.
LINK: Sober AF Entertainment