KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The 9th Annual Community Champion Awards will be held on Thursday, December 8 at The Foundry. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available.

Metro Drug Coalition puts on this annual event to celebrate and honor those who take on their mission and vision through their own work. Awards that will be given out include Innovations in Substance Misuse Prevention Award, Celebrate Recovery Award, and more.

Living East Tennessee co-host, Tala Shatara will be accepting the Media Advocacy Award. “I am honored and ecstatic to know that my platform can create change for a cause near and dear to my heart,” says Shatara.

The Metro Drug Colation aims to offer resources, comfort, and help to those affected by substance and alcohol abuse. With programs such as Primary Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Recovery Support, the MDC strives to walk alongside addicts and their loved ones.

Tala is in full support of this cause due to experiencing the effects of substance and alcohol abuse firsthand. In 2020, Tala left a relationship that had been taken over by drugs and other suppressants. In that time, she watched a loved one lose their way which ultimately made her lose her normalcy.

“I have seen the dependency on these types of suppressants. Mental health was a big driving factor in my ex-fiancé’s choice to use and abuse them,” Tala adds. “If I can be a part of helping others know it doesn’t have to be this way, I will take on that responsibility.”

Tala wrote a book on how these factors and others changed her plans.

For more information on the Metro Drug Coalition and how you can get involved, visit their website and Facebook page.