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Each year Hands Across the Bridge Project strives to advance the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month cause. We advocate for recovery as we have witnessed the effects of substance abuse and the value of treatment. In our effort to bring about community awareness, we present real people telling real stories to the community, media, and elected officials.

Board Members

We Build Hope

Hands Across the Bridge Chair, Tabby Stokes
Tabby Stokes
Alizz Quarles
Vice Chair
Sarah Frank
Board Member
Hands Across the Bridge Board Member Seth Backer
Seth Backer
MacRae Bogdanov
Compliance Officer
Tammy Wilkins
Board Member
Hands Across the Bridge Board Member, Cynthia Hannan
Cynthia Hannan
Theresa Sweeney
Board Member
In Loving Memory of

Our Founders

Louise Wedge
Patty Katz
07/14/2021 ~ 06/27/2021

To leave comments and stories about times you shared with Patty K and Louise W, click here

Hands Across the Bridge

Mission Statement

Our mission is to build leadership in the recovery community by inspiring people to challenge the stigma of addiction by speaking out on recovery related issues.

Hands Across the Bridge is a Non-Profit Organization that builds leaders and advocates for the recovery community. In our fight against the stigma of addiction, we will give a voice to people that they may speak out on recovery related issues and share their stories. We will bring together those most affected by the disease of addiction, people in recovery, and their families for the annual event called Hands Across the Bridge.

About Us by Hands Across the Bridge

The Story About Hands Across The Bridge

Years ago, two women in recovery read an article about National Recovery Month and realized people all over the United States were celebrating their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. They decided they would stand on top of the Burnside Bridge at daybreak to celebrate that they were no longer under the bridge in their addictions, but on top of the bridge to celebrate their recovery. This decision marked the beginning of the Hands Across the Bridge event, a collaboration between Oregon and Washington to celebrate National Recovery Month.

Patty Katz and Louise Wedge, along with the support of the Recovery Association Project and several people from the recovering community, held the first Hands Across the Bridge celebration on the I-5 bridge in 2001. That first year saw about 200 people and the following year’s event grew to include 500 people. Using the principles of Grassroots organizing and leadership development, Hands Across the Bridge has stirred the support of elected officials, faith-based leaders, community organizations, and thousands of people from the recovery community.

In 2019, Louise Wedge passed away from health complications and we saw the devastating effects the COVID 19 isolation and stress had on our recovery community. Our board was heartbroken to lose one of our founding members.

Then on June 27th, we were devastated again, when our other founder, Patty Katz, passed away from liver cancer. These amazing women are the reason we have an event. It was their dedication and leadership that has passed on to us the legacy of Hands Across the Bridge.

This year and every year, we want to honor and thank these women for all they have done for our community. Below you find the memorial videos for both our founders and we look forward to seeing you all on the bridge each Labor Day as we celebrate Patty and Louise at our annual event, Hands Across the Bridge.

Where to find us

Hands Across the Bridge

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