Daily Voice this week is running down some of the top stories of 2016 (scroll to the bottom for the full list).
These are the stories that made us smile, made us cry or in some way left an impression on us.
RIVER EDGE, N.J. – Back in October, Lisa Gladwell of River Edge announced her dream to open the Rise Up Café – a non-alcoholic place addicts in recovery could socialize.
So far, she has faith and furniture.
And tons of support, including from Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino.
Two months ago, she was considering a Westwood site for the café, which she envisions as a socially conscious, for-profit enterprise.
Her proposal for the Westwood site was rejected, she said, but she recently sent a proposal to the landlord of a vacant site in Cresskill.
Her fingers are crossed.
Gladwell, 58, is a lawyer who has been sober for 15 years.
But she still remembers the challenges of staying on the wagon early in her recovery.
One was finding places to socialize where there was no temptation or pressure to drink.
She's gotten lots of validation that her idea is sound, even needed.
“Because of the Daily Voice article in October, I got calls from as far away as Seattle,” Gladwell said. “I heard from a lot of other operations in support of people in recovery.”
Most were nonprofit. None were a café.
But people got excited, she said, because her idea services the addiction community.
“I started to forge a network with folks in Morris County at a place called Rest Stop Rejuvenate in Rockaway,” Gladwell said. “It has music and spoken word events.”
Gladwell envisions the same for the Rise Up Café here in Bergen.
She said she’s making connections in the worlds of economic development, real estate, and restaurant startups.
Gladwell prays daily for divine guidance. She knows she has the right idea.
“Now I need the right space at the right time at the right price,” she said.
Reach Gladwell at email@example.com.
YEAR IN REVIEW