A Star Is Reborn
Actress Kristen Johnston gets gutsy at Women's Auxiliary of Nexus luncheon
Addiction can be a somber subject. But thanks to comedic actress and keynote speaker Kristen Johnston — best known for her roles in 3rd Rock from the Sun and a rather memorable episode of Sex in the City — the Women’s Auxiliary of Nexus 2013 Spring Luncheon was filled with laughs.
Johnston’s positive energy and attitude radiated throughout the ballroom at the Hilton Anatole, lifting the spirits of everyone in attendance.
The program began with emcee Gina Miller inviting Women’s Auxiliary of Nexus president Betsy Chambers to the podium. Chambers thanked event chairs Jan Osborn and Robin Bagwell for their dedication to the Nexus Recovery Center, which provides specialized substance abuse services for girls and women, including those pregnant or with children.
Then Becca Crowell, executive director of Nexus, talked about meeting the needs of the clients and the recent collaboration with Parkland Hospital. After, we heard from three recovering addicts who received treatment at Nexus. Their words sent chills down our spines as they recounted their struggles and successes.
While devotees — including Lynn McBee, Kim Wyly, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Caroline Rose Hunt, Yvonne Crum, Nancy Zogg, Suzanne Marley and Norm Bagwell — lunched on a light meal, the incomparable Johnston took center stage.
She first apologized for “dropping f-bombs,” then added, “I’ve never felt so welcomed by a city as Dallas.” After a few laughs, Johnston opened her book, Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, and read an excerpt about one of the lowest moments during her addiction. Later, she fielded questions from the captivated audience.
Today, a happily sober Johnston is recognized for her work beyond the television screen. She speaks regularly about her addiction and recovery, and she founded SLAM (Sobriety, Learning and Motivation), New York City’s first school for youth in recovery.