Jaywalker would like to congratulate Jaywalker U coordinator and Jaywalker Lodge alum, Donnie Hagenbart, on celebrating four years of sobriety. Donnie came to Jaywalker four years ago after a short stint in an Evanston detox. After Jaywalker Donnie quickly became a shining example in the recovering community, volunteering and sponsoring many newly sober men. In his two years as lead teller at Wells Fargo Donnie was also one of the most active volunteers Jaywalker has ever had, logging countless hours with clients with whom he had a lasting effect. A little over a year ago Jaywalker hired Donnie to coordinate Jaywalker U, a collegiate recovery program for men. He has since helped that program grow in new and exciting ways, from ice climbing in Ouray to surfing in San Diego.
It is safe to say that Donnie hated me when he first met me. I was bigger, faster, stronger, better looking, much better at ping pong, and I never struck out in softball. Who could blame him? I made it my life’s goal to win the little guy over and show him how amazing sobriety could be. A few years ago I went through a rough patch in life, as we do, Donnie was there to show ME how amazing sobriety was, how amazing my life was despite what my head was telling me. Donnie taught me how to be a friend, a lesson I had yet to truly learn in my 25 years on this earth. I am forever grateful for your friendship Donnie, congratulations on four years, here’s to many more…