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Healing for veterans moving Downtown

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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An Auburn program helping local veterans create a new beginning is moving to Downtown. The Healing Light Institute has been located at 3215 Fortune Court in Auburn for the past 12 years. The Forgotten Soldier Program has operated out of the institute since October 2009, according to Donna Arz, executive director of the program. The program offers several types of free healing to veterans including acupuncture, acupressure, spiritual counseling and direction, suicide-prevention counseling, guided visualization, Chinese medicine and more. As of Feb. 28 the Healing Light Institute will open its doors at 991 Lincoln Way next to the State Theatre. In March the Forgotten Soldier and Teens Matter: Teen Life Skills programs will begin operation on the second floor of the building, Arz said. Forgotten Soldier currently assists about 48 veterans and four families of veterans. Arz said there are several advantages to moving to the new location. “It’s in the middle of town,” she said. “It’s the focus. The (Veterans) Memorial Hall is right down there. Moving here and bringing the quality of people we are bringing brings a vibrancy to the Downtown area. We are just going to really make it come alive.” Laurie Penn, a publicist for the Forgotten Soldier Program, said the building’s proximity to the bus stop on Lincoln Way is also a positive for veterans who rely on public transit. In addition to the move, the program is adding a drug-and-alcohol recovery component, sound healing and outdoor activities to its future agenda. “We are working on raising money to do some trips to some different places,” Arz said. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 2 the Healing Light Institute is holding a free day of healing at the Auburn Veterans Memorial Hall on East Street for veterans of past and current wars. Arz said there will be 15 to 18 alternative health practitioners available and she hopes about 250 people will come by. “Everything is out in the open, so it’s comfortable for people who might not otherwise get a massage or acupuncture,” Penn said. No registration is necessary, and anyone looking for additional information can call (530) 889-2300 or visit the program’s website at forgottensoldierprogram.org. Arz said the building, with its history dating back to the early 1900s, is now providing the program with a fresh start. “This place is really going to have a new beginning,” she said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com