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First Columbia Bank Teams With Chris Herren

First Columbia Bank was honored to team with former NBA player Chris Herren to tackle
the problem of substance abuse in our communities.

During Chris' recent visit to Bloomsburg, he shared his candid and honest message with more than 3,600 high school students and hundreds from our community. Chris recounted his deeply personal story of abuse and recovery. It was a tale of a harrowing descent into addiction and a difficult yet inspiring recovery.

An important part of his message to students centered on self-esteem, bullying, and self destructive behaviors. He pointedly asked kids to consider "why" they make the choice to use drugs and alcohol, Importantly, he urged parents to ask the same question of their children--or themselves. He challenged his audiences to have these difficult and uncomfortable conversations; to focus more on the overall wellness of our young people; and to advocate for better care and for earlier recognition and treatment of this illness that affects so many in our communities.

Chris' new life mission is to help others, and we share Chris' hope of reaching at least one person and making a difference. We know Chris made a lasting impression here in our community, and we are very grateful to him for the good work he does.



Pictured left: Chris took some time
before the presentation to chat with
employees, families and WHLM



Here's what some shared...

"I don't know how anyone could have walked into that auditorium doing drugs and walked out thinking that it was a good thing or okay."
"His presentation was different than your average 'just say no' to drugs presentation. No fancy videos and statistics, just real stuff--presented in such an honest and straightforward way."
"As a parent, I would like to thank everyone who had a hand in organizing the Chris Herren event. My daughter had the opportunity to attend the presentation this morning. She honestly wasn’t really looking forward to going. She thought it was going to be another one of those “drug assembly” deals that they are forced to sit through. She was surprised! She said the presentation was honestly refreshing and that he was an excellent speaker. In her words, definitely not your stereotypical presentation.  She was glad to have been able to attend and hear him speak."

About Chris Herren


Chris Herren was a high school basketball legend from Fall River, Massachusetts who scored over 2,000 career points and was named to the 1994 McDonald's All-American team. Herren realized his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA only to lose it all to the nightmare of drug addiction—first alcohol, then cocaine and oxycontin, finally heroin.

Alcohol and drug-free since August 1, 2008, he has refocused his life to put his sobriety and family above all else. He shares his harrowing story of abuse and recovery in his memoir, Basketball Junkie, as well as in numerous interviews throughout the Emmy nominated ESPN Films documentary Unguarded, of which he is the subject.

Off the court, Chris Herren continues to share his story with audiences in the hopes of reaching just one person and making a difference in his or her life. To support this vision, he founded The Herren Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing treatment navigation, educational and mentoring programs to those touched by addiction and to educate people of all ages on the dangers of substance abuse one person, one family at a time.