Country music stars share stories of struggle at Four Rivers' banquet

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX-Country music stars Larry Gatlin and Randy Travis took a Texoma stage Wednesday in support of a local non-profit, not just as performers, but as inspirational speakers. Victoria Maranan was at Four Rivers Outreach's 3rd annual "Giving Banquet." She sat down with both men and brings us the story.

"I believe in a lot of other people and also to give back just to give, you know. If you are blessed, then you give."

Country music star Randy Travis took the stage showing his support for the alcohol and drug recovery program, Four Rivers, at their 3rd annual "Giving Banquet" Wednesday night. Another country star, Larry Gatlin, was also there as the keynote speaker.

"There are folks in our society who need help and they slip through the cracks and the government is not good at it. So people who step up and do those kinds of things, I honor that," said Gatlin.

Gatlin shared the story of his struggle with alcohol and drugs with the more than 800 people who attended the event.

"I'm a drunk, I just don't drink anymore," he said.

Gatlin said organizations like Four Rivers saved him over 25 years ago because if he hadn't stopped the abuse, it would've cost him his job, his career and his life.

"It wasn't working for me anymore. The booze and the drugs aren't working and when they stopped working, I called some friends and got back to my faith and asked God to help me," he said.

Four Rivers Executive Director, Arthur Horn, said they invited Gatlin and Travis to speak hoping to inspire those who are struggling with addiction.

"He shows us that we can overcome an addiction, get into recovery and become successful," he said.

Gatlin said the road to recovery is a rough one, but worth it.

"It is difficult, there's no question about it. But if you don't think everyday's precious, try skipping one. A lot of people are skipping them and they're not living, it's a living death," he said.

Both men said they're proud to support Four Rivers and hope to be invited back down the road.

"This is a wonderful organization and I hope to be back here every year, not necessarily to perform, but let somebody else perform," said Travis.

Horn said the banquet raised $100,000, meeting their fundraising goal and helping to keep Four River's operating and growing into the future.


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