By Karen Marroquin
Signal Staff Writer
Fourteen years ago, Tim and Susan Traurig were going through one of the toughest times in their lives. Two out of their three daughters were suffering from alcohol and drug addictions, and they felt lost and out of hope.
“We just had no idea where to turn, how to navigate these treacherous waters of addiction and alcoholism and we were scared,” Tim Traurig said. “We were trying to save our daughters’ lives.”
The Traurigs sent their daughters to numerous rehab treatments in various different states in hopes of them reaching sobriety. And while they saw immediate progress, they kept losing hope after seeing that the progress wasn’t long-lasting. After months of trial and error, the family came to a big realization.
“We found out there was so much more needed than just sending a child to a treatment,” said Tim Traurig.
That’s when they decided to create “A Light of Hope.” ALOH is a nonprofit organization that offers weekly support groups for youth and young adults to stay clean, according to ALOH’s website. They also provide support groups for family members to help give them tools and guidance on “what works and what doesn’t when you’re dealing with a child that’s struggling with addiction, alcoholism, self-destructive actions or behaviors.”
ALOH has been able to help out hundreds of families and individuals throughout the years, and hopes to expand it even more by appointing Darren Brewster to its board of directors.
Brewster has been in charge of leading ALOH’s sober events for participants for nearly eight years and has assisted in leading support groups for the last five, according to a statement from ALOH.
But Brewster said his affiliation with ALOH started years before that, when he was struggling heavily with a drug addiction during his 20s.
He said his life changed when he found ALOH.
“Some guy rolled up on his skateboard, came up to me, asked me how I was doing and what I was doing there. He said he was struggling with the same addiction. He was sober, and seemed super happy, and I said I could totally hang with this dude. Everything changed after that.”
Traurig is looking forward to bringing Brewster on because “the fact that he runs our youth program, bringing him onto the board gives us firsthand knowledge of what’s really happening in those groups so we can better steer ALOH in the most effective direction that it can go.”
Brewster added: “I’m super excited for the opportunity. For me it’s a complete testimony of what choosing sobriety can do for you because I came into the room so broken and lost and miserable and to now being on the flipside of being on the board, and being one of the facilitators and leaders.”
Also joining the board of directors is Ronda Chobanian-Murray. She has been heavily involved in the nonprofit sector for nearly three decades, according to a news release from A Light of Hope.
Tim Traurig says that, “She has a lot of experience that we thought could be very valuable to our organization as well as her own personal experience being a mother of a child that has struggled with some of these issues.”
ALOH meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. For more information about A Light of Hope’s resources and programming, you can visit ALightOfHopeSCV.org or call 661-513-HEAL.