In September 2021, The GateHouse broke ground on its Serenity Gardens, a beautiful, tree-lined memorial garden providing a place for peaceful reflection for residents and families who lost loved ones to substance abuse disorder.
Families, GateHouse alumni, staff, and community members contributed to the creation of the gardens at The GateHouse’s Marietta, PA, residential treatment facility. Some sponsored bricks inscribed and displayed along the Gardens’ pathways. Others sponsored trees and benches adorned with messages remembering loved ones.
One such donor was Stephanie Prete, GateHouse alumni, and advocate for women working towards recovery from substance abuse disorder.
Stephanie Contributed to Serenity Gardens to Honor Other Women in Recovery Like Her
Since her time as a resident at The GateHouse, Stephanie has continued to give back to the community of women who supported her during her treatment.
“I came to The GateHouse from Delaware County, entering the Residential Extended Care program in 2013,” Stephanie said. “After leaving residential care in 2014, I decided to stay in Lancaster County because of the support I felt from the community here.”
About a year after treatment, Stephanie joined The GateHouse Alumni Association.
“I was the treasurer of the alumni association for about five years,” Stephanie said. “We organized The GateHouse’s softball tournament every summer. We also raised money to host picnics for the women’s events house and buy Christmas gifts for the clients in the house at the time.”
Through her work with the alumni association, Stephanie found the motivation to help other women in recovery.
“If I’m not helping other people, I lose my way,” Stephanie said. “There have been times in my recovery when I focused more on my own life and less on helping others. But during those times, I never felt as good as when I was helping someone else.”
Stephanie has since returned to Delaware County and is happy in her new life.
“My life is vastly different now. I’m still really involved in recovery. I go to AA. I’ve been a sponsor for other members. I still try to help as many women as I can.”
Through her journey of helping others, Stephanie has created a new life for herself, living independently and creating a stable future.
“I’m working to become a registered dental hygienist and will graduate soon,” Stephanie said. “I bought a house three years ago, my credit is good, and I own a car. These are things that may seem small to some, but it’s exciting to me that I did this on my own. I have a nice little group of friends, and I’m engaged. Life definitely looks different than it did before I arrived at The GateHouse.”
Stephanie attended the opening ceremony of the River Tower in Marietta—now the home of The GateHouse’s Residential Extended Care for Women—and donated a brick to be placed in the gardens. It reads:
“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein
Please Join Us in Support of the Serenity Gardens Project at The GateHouse
We welcome more community support for our Serenity Gardens project. You can donate a brick, plant a tree, sponsor a bench, or help fund the purchase of a pavilion. Click to learn how you can Donate to Serenity Gardens.
When you or a loved one are ready to start living life in recovery, The GateHouse is here to help. With facilities around Lancaster County, PA, we provide substance abuse treatment services for long-term addiction recovery.
The GateHouse provides each client with a support structure to break the cycle of substance abuse and put them on the road to recovery. Whether they need outpatient support, a transitional living setting, or residential treatment services, The GateHouse is here for them.
The GateHouse can help you with your next step in recovery. Reach out to us today!