DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A ping pong tournament is helping raise money for addiction recovery services in the Miami Valley.

It’s called “Pong for a Purpose,” and it’s a family-friendly event.

Last year it was held at Hollywood Gaming and Racino. This year, it’s at a different location, but with the same goal—to raise money and awareness for recovery support and connecting people with resources.

“It’s bringing the community together to let them know that we are normal people,” says Gary Johnson, a client with Good Shepherd Ministries who’s in recovery. “Recovery is fun. Me personally, I never thought you could have fun sober. But yeah. You have games and fun.”

RAMCO—The Recovery Alliance of Montgomery County, Ohio—is hosting the ping pong tournament. It will be held Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the New Hope Church on Xenia Avenue in Dayton.

“It’s more than go to meetings. We have outside events for people,” states Keith Trammell of the West Side Club. “We are here to help. We aren’t trying to shame base. None of that. We are strictly here to help.”

Several recovery clubs are part of the tournament.

It’s a chance to cheer each other on and have some fun.

“To see people’s life change—is like man that’s a blessing for me. I know that this is a gift that God gave me,” says Marsha Thompson with the Dayton Recovery Project, who’s been in recovery for 30-some years. “I minister to a lot of women. I thank God. I help a lot of women stay sober. Men too. That’s my purpose. That’s what God called me for.”

It’s also an opportunity to share their own stories with each other.

“Well, 25-year crack addiction, 20 years of chronic homelessness, three prison numbers, yes, and my life was changed by my higher power who I chose to call God,” says Gilbert Dillard a certified peer recovery supporter and trainer for the state of Ohio.

They help give others hope.

While having fun, they’re also creating change. 

“We want to bring everybody to the table, and while we’re doing that to reach the people that’s keeping secrets, the business community, the recovery community, the recovery clubs–we’re all coming together to let you know there’s help out here. That’s the whole purpose to this whole thing. And there’s love out there for you. For those in addiction, come on over because hope is possible. This is our hope shot. We hope to reach a few people,” says Dillard.