Three-Day Symposium of Events at Lenoir-Rhyne University

March 30, 31, April 1, 2022

Ben’s Friends

With nearly 60 years of combined sobriety between founders Steve Palmer and Mickey Bakst, they are proof that you can live a full, rich, rewarding, and sober life while working in restaurants and hospitality.

Ben’s Friends is a community of chefs, bartenders, line cooks, servers, sommeliers, host and hostesses, GMs and owners who have found or are seeking sobriety. Our mission is to offer community, hope and a path forward for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

At our core, we are hospitality workers who have found connection, and the tools to seek and maintain sobriety while managing our careers and lives in a sane and purposeful way.

Ben’s Friends’ meetings are open to anyone interested in sobriety and support, whether they are currently sober or just beginning their journey. Our one-hour meetings are currently taking place on Zoom or in person depending on COVID-19 restrictions in each city.

The goal during our meetings, both over Zoom and in-person, is to provide a safe space for members to connect and support one another with compassion and acceptance. We value and respect members’ anonymity and welcome listening or participation, whatever feels right to you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 7pm

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Visiting Writers Series Panel of Speakers
Steve Palmer, John T. Edge,
Chenelle Gragg
– 7pm

Friday, April 1, 2022

Mental Wellness – Daytime Event
In-Person and Virtual – 9am – 4pm

Special Guest Martina McBride – 7pm

The Art of Compassion

Three-Day Symposium of Events
at Lenoir-Rhyne University

March 30, 31, April 1, 2022

Contact Information

If you have questions or need additional information about the event, feel free to contact us at