Jerod Thomas will be the keynote speaker at Lighthouse Recovery Services' upcoming Beacon Awards banquet.
In the '80s, Thomas had a standout college football career, leading some people to assume he was headed to the NFL.
He played for the national championship in 1987 with Marshall University's Thundering Herd. He played on the Southern Conference championship team the following year.
After transferring to Morehead State University for his senior year, Thomas served as a defensive captain and was named to the All Ohio Valley Conference football team.
Thomas earned a master's degree in education from the University of Tennessee and worked as an educator and coach before starting a new career in sales, during which time he became the national sales director for an athletic apparel company.
After struggling 15 years with alcoholism and drug addiction, Thomas changed his life and became sober. He later became a drug and alcohol counselor. He now serves as president and CEO of the Shepherd's House in Lexington, a residential treatment center for men, and works as a motivational speaker.
Thomas' story goes from the jail cell to the board room. He shares his transformation from being drug addicted, unemployable and homeless to becoming a successful businessman.
"When Jerod spoke to our team, it was the most important team meeting of the off season," Dean Hood, head football coach for Eastern Kentucky University, said in a testimonial on Thomas Recovery Solutions' website. "What a powerful message."
Derrick Arthur, Lighthouse Recovery Services executive director, is eager to introduce Thomas to Owensboro.
"His story shows the disease of alcohol and drug addiction can affect anyone," Arthur said.
The 15th annual Beacon Awards will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Owensboro Christian Church, 2818 New Hartford Road. The event will be held in the community room.
Tickets cost $25 per person. Reservations can be made by calling Lighthouse Recovery at 270-689-4025 or by emailing Arthur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, reservations are not required, Arthur said. Walk-ins are welcome.
The event is open to the public. Arthur believes many people think the banquet is an invitation-only event.
He said attending the Beacon Awards banquet would be a wonderful introduction to Lighthouse Recovery and its services. The nonprofit provides a residential recovery program for men and women.
Haley Jones, a former Lighthouse Services resident, also will speak at the upcoming banquet.
Two Beacon Awards will be given that evening, along with the Earl Loney Award. The awards recognize community members for their contributions to the substance use community.
Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, email@example.com