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Local Actor Hosts Rally and Inspires Hope

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within." -Ra

September is National Recovery Month and in honor of that Tommy Connolly will be hosting the 7th annual Rally Round Recovery at Bicentennial Park.

This community event promotes substance abuse prevention and treatment as well as highlights the contributions of organizations which provide resources for those in need of assistance with various forms of addiction. The rally’s purpose is to let people know that recovery from substance abuse in all forms is possible.

 “Everybody has something that is holding them back from doing something” said Connolly, who finds solace in sharing his experiences to help others who are struggling with addiction.

Tommy Connolly is a man on a mission. Originally from Mokena, he now lives in Plainfield and will be releasing his first book by the end of this year.  

"Soul Parole – making peace with my mind, God, and myself," chronicles Connelly’s personal journey through recovery from drug/alcohol addiction, homelessness and depression.

Connolly, who is an actor/comic/voice-over artist by trade, battled addiction, undiagnosed anxiety and depression for more than 20 years.  Since he began the journey to his own recovery, he has enjoyed career success while using his experience to help others and his voice to eradicate the stigma attached to addiction and depression.

“I am sick and tired of the stigmas that go along with mental disorders; depression is a completely misunderstood disease…what I really want to do is be a messenger of hope and faith,” said Connolly.

Connolly’s Blog: Every Day is a Gift, was voted one of the Top 100 Best Addiction Recovery Blogs online.

“The book is not just for addicts,” said Connolly “It touches on other areas of life such as faith, family fatherhood, and coping with the loss of a loved one.“

“I sincerely hope that the book helps people understand the disease and find their own path to recovery, both for addicts and their loved ones.”

A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to area non-profits that provide resources for addiction recovery, mental health and homelessness.

When he’s not rallying for his cause, Connolly works in the television and film industry. Some of his recent acting credits include "The Playboy Club," a retro-drama about the building of the Playboy Empire in the 60s and a feature length film, "Chasing Hollywood," a documentary about how actors and other industry folk, which will premier at the Naperville Film Festival later this month. 

In the coming months Connolly will be working on 3 more feature films.

When not on the stage or in front of the camera, Connolly regularly donates his time to his cause by speaking to organizations and participating in events related to addiction recovery.  It is his true calling and something for which he has boundless passion.

 “When people need help - I will always do my best to be there,” said Connolly, “You can catch your dreams no matter what the obstacles with faith, hope and the hand of a friend.”

“One of the most beautiful things about sobriety is it gives me the ability to experience life on life’s terms, and to be there for my family."

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