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DUNKIRK – Four more recovering substance abusers will be honored when Dunkirk City Court’s Drug Court holds its summer graduation and open house at 11 a.m. Thursday in the courtroom in City Hall.

The ceremony will recognize those on track to graduate as well as current participants in the program that tries to help substance abusers free themselves of addiction and change their lives. The program offers an opportunity to change to individuals, including veterans, ensnared by the court system because of drug, alcohol or mental health problems. It’s open to individuals in Dunkirk City Court as well as to those in all town and village courts of northern Chautauqua County and Chautauqua County Court in Mayville.

In addition to recognizing participants, the court will present its “Beacon of Hope” award to someone with a demonstrated commitment to helping those in the treatment court with their recovery program. Fredonia State College also will be recognized for providing over 50 interns to City Court over the last 11 years.

“The good news is that people can and do change, sometimes in spite of tremendous odds against them. That is why we hold graduations and open houses, to bear witness to the courage and success of those completing the program,” said Judge Walter Drag, who has presided over the treatment court since its beginning in 2002. “It also offers encouragement to those in the program and to those considering it.”

The public is invited to attend the graduation. A short reception will follow.