Sober Eyes aims to create friendships


Sober Eyes originated almost four years ago, and the group keeps growing. The founder of Sober Eyes, Devon Brenson, is from Warrens and that’s where the group originated and started around four years ago. Brenson said, “I was in jail, battling addiction and I was bombarded with support from my family and the church. It really made me realize how much all that support made me want to stay sober and do better for myself.” So when Brenson got out of jail, he decided to start Sober Eyes as a recovery group for people battling addiction. They’ve grown into having weekly meetings in Warrens, Tomah, and Sparta. Sparta’s group just started a month ago.

The group meets in Warrens on Sunday’s at St. Matthew’s Church, in Sparta on Tuesday’s at the Barney Community Center, and in Tomah on Thursday’s at the Area Community Theatre.

Board member, Shane Sherburn said, “we try to set it up differently than other organizations; we welcome anyone and everyone.” The group welcomes all walks of life, there are people that haven’t been addicted to anything and just come to the meetings and events support the group. They also welcome any types of addiction, whether it be gambling, cutting, alcohol, drugs, or whatever. Sherburn said, “the group is more about people being friends and supporting each other than it is about the addictions.”

Every month Sober Eyes puts on an event; this month’s event was a barbecue at Winnebago Park in Tomah and next month they’ll be doing a canoe trip down the Black River. The group doesn’t seek out donations or grants. If they get donations, then they can put on events like these.

Sherburn said, “one thing we noticed was that there was a gap missing in the area with recovery to foster a community together and keep them together.” There is a great sense of comradery in the group. Sherburn mentioned, at the first meeting he went to, there was a member who had relapsed and had come to the meeting that day, and the group was just excited and happy to see the member come back. “There was no shame, just excitement,” said Sherburn.

Next Steps for Change is a pier support group based in Monroe County. The organization has trained specialists to walk along people in recovery. They donated the bounce house for the barbecue event on Saturday.

Along with Next Steps for Change, the Coulee Recovery Center, Tomah Fire Department, and more had booths set up to make it a family friendly event.    


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