NEW LEXINGTON — As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreads throughout Ohio, events have been canceled due to social distancing guidelines. However, Chris Tigner, founder of Rally 4 Recovery, opted to take his yearly event to the virtual world offering comfort to those who are still in recovery.

After weeks of asking supporters and others working in the recovery community, Tigner planned to hold his twice a year event which focuses on those in active recovery.

“Due to circumstances that were beyond our control this year we’ve had to make this [recovery] jam completely virtual,” Tigner stated on a Facebook live stream.

The virtual event was held at 6 p.m. on July 11 via Facebook livestream. For this year’s event, Tigner and others who connected to the feed shared words of hope, inspiration along with first hand accounts from those who were in the midst of their own recovery journey.

This year’s event transitioned to an internet format due to some physical spaces being closed due to social distancing guidelines. However, Tigner and others planned on doing an event anyway in order to give those in recovery something to look forward to.

“You’ll have to bear with me, this is our first time trying this,” Tigner stated to those viewing his livestream.

With variables unfamiliar to the Rally 4 Recovery team, some of the livestreams were cut short due to technical difficulties. According to Tigner, he had to restart the livestream too, all of which can be viewed on the Rally 4 Recovery Facebook page.

“I ended up just uploading every one of the tapes onto the Facebook page because I felt like each tape was a part of our story in how we are moving forward,” Tigner told The Perry County Tribune.

For this year’s event, Tigner was able to garner 400 local viewers to his programming on Saturday evening. The videos for the event can still be viewed as they have been up since 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Normally, the in-person event lasts approximately four hours. Since it was a live broadcast, the event was condensed leaving out other aspects such as the auction.

After the conclusion of the virtual event, Tigner was given praise from locals in the recovery community. Prior to the event's start, Tigner made it a goal to see it through to the end as he recognized that people needed something good in their lives as the pandemic still affects people's lives.

“My first thought when I heard about all the cancelations was that is not going to be us,” Tigner stated. “That's just not an option.”

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