Let’s Talk About It
In the winter of 2020, Wendy Beck (Rage Founder and Executive Director), Mia Ellis (Administrator), and Rachel Bongiorno (Daughter’s House Program Director and Recovery Coach) brainstormed a way to reach more people. We wanted to share not only what we do, but WHY we do it. Each member of the Rage Team has lost someone to addiction, and we felt it was important to give others a glimpse into our grief journey. It was essential for us to also dive into topics that were figurately being swept under the rug in communities, such as harm reduction, mental illness struggles, parenting a child in active addiction, and triggers during holiday parties that can be challenging for those who are sober.
Rich Bennett is a local Professional Podcaster and Professional DJ, who allowed us to partner with him in an effort to create podcasts to bring awareness to communities about the devastating affects of addiction and to also spread hope about recovery. What started out as a one-time podcast (check it out here) opened up the door to a bigger experience that reached more people than we could imagine, and thus Rage Talk was born.
We sincerely appreciate his support in allowing us to speak about meaningful and sometimes difficult subjects, and we also appreciate his time in providing music for and MC’ing at our Recovery Shrimp and Bull Roast in September of 2021, and at our Recovery Night Out in September of 2022.
Rich was kind enough to share a bit about himself and how he began this career that seems to be growing and reaching more people each month.
How long have you been doing podcasts?
I recorded my first episode in October of 2015. It was originally going to be a YouTube show and the audio played on a local radio station on the weekend. However, the camera broke during the recording and after six episodes, I decided to make it a podcast.
What inspired you to start?
I started harfordcountyliving.com in October of 2012, and I wanted to add something else to be able to give people, nonprofits, and businesses another way of reaching others. I guess you could say that my love for Harford County and people’s stories is what inspired me.
What is your background?
I got my degree in radio in 1989 and have been a DJ since 1986. I worked at some stations in the Baltimore Metro area off and on for years, and decided to get out of radio in 2012 to launch Harford County Living.
Tell us about what goes into making a podcast, from beginning to release.
I think this is why a lot of people that start a podcast don’t continue with it, because of all the work that goes into it. I do everything myself, although my cohosts help me with getting some guests, so instead of boring you with all the details, I’ll just outline what I do briefly:
-Schedule recording for in-person or virtual
-Line up a cohost if feasible
-Set up equipment and test the day of recording
-Record the episode
-Download recording to computer
-Edit each track and combine
-Record an intro and outro
-Edit interview and insert sponsor audio close to the middle
-Look for a podcast similar to the subject we talked about
-Download that podcast trailer if possible
-Edit all pieces together for the final recording and upload
-Find a 1 to 3 minute piece from the recording of my guest for Social Media
-Type up show notes and include guests links to websites, social media, etc.
-Create artwork for each episode and blog
-Create video snippets with the 1 to 3 minute audio of my guest for social media posts
-Upload show and notes to server
-Email the guest with the links for the show
-Promote on several social media pages and groups
Who is the most important / famous person you’ve interviewed?
As for most important, I would have to say the guests I’ve had on that are in recovery or suffer from mental illness. They’re willing to tell their story and I believe that helps them as well as other people. The most famous would have to be either Connor Perkins who is an actor from here and is on ‘Chicago Med’ or Vinnie Potestivo, who won an Emmy for his time at MTV.
How did you and Rage become connected?
I recorded an episode with the Harford County Health Department with some Peer Recovery Specialists and Rage Against Addiction came up. I believe I contacted you about coming on the podcast and the rest is history. It seems like it was a long time ago.
What have you learned from speaking with the Rage team over the last two years?
I don’t even know where to start. I’m still learning so many things and meeting so many wonderful people, and I know I’m going to keep doing so. I’m just so amazed at everything that Rage offers.
What topic has been the most difficult to talk about and listen to?
The loss of a loved one. I still listen to them and it makes me cry each time, yet at the same time, it fills my heart. That may be the toughest job as a podcaster: going back and listening to episodes more than once, but I have to and I actually feel good afterwards. I guess you could say that it’s therapy for me.
What other addiction and mental health-related organizations have spoken to you?
Harford County Health Department, Ashley Treatment Center, ACR (Addiction Connections Resource), Voices of Hope, The Endorphin Project, Doc Perry Foundation, and the list goes on.
How do you hope your podcasts will help the listeners?
I hope that it helps people heal, and that it will stop people from taking that next drink or drug, and that it will get more people talking. That’s what I love about the podcast: people are speaking up and telling their stories, and I believe that helps them as well as others.
Don’t forget to listen to our most recent podcasts as well as our older episodes. Some will bring you to tears, some will make you smile, and all will be sure to inform you about what’s going on with this terrible addiction epidemic that is taking over communities all over the country. Help us spread hope and healing by tuning in.
To find out more about Rage Talk or about Rich Bennett, please visit:
Partnering with Rich has been so rewarding. The initial idea for Rage Talk was to do PSAs as a way to introduce Rage to the community! It didn’t take us long to realize “RAGE” had a lot to say! Our PSAs turned into robust conversations about all things addiction. This has been a great opportunity to show our supporters what we are doing behind the scenes.
Come see what we’re all about and meet some of the team at our various events throughout the winter and spring!
February 15 and March 22: We will be hosting a resource table at Harford Community College from 11:00am to 2:00pm in an effort to reach the college community to bring awareness about addiction and recovery. If you are a college student or know one, we hope that you will let them know about this opportunity! Located at 401 Thomas Run Road – Bel Air, MD 21015)
March 30: Pick up your Memory Walk / Recovery Run racekit at Charm City Run from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Racekits are only available for those that have registered as a Memory Walker or Recovery Runner. We would love to meet you! Come say hello to us at 126 South Main Street – Bel Air, MD 21014.
April 1: Our Memory Walk / Recovery Run is biggest fundraiser of the year. We all know someone affected by addiction. It could be you or your family member or your friend or co-worker. No one is immune. We hope that you will consider being a part of this amazing event. Join us from 8:00am to noon at Cedar Lane Regional Park: 1100 Cedar Lane – Bel Air, MD 21015. Register here: runsignup.com/rageagainstaddiction
April 1 to April 30: If you cannot make our in-person event, join us virtually all month long. Our route ends in ocean City, Maryland. You can still show support by logging your miles, collecting donations, forming teams, and sharing photos of loved ones. Details can be found here: runsignup.com/rageagainstaddiction
April 13: April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Stop by our resource table and visit others as well at Harford Community College from 11:00am to 2:00pm, as we all strive to share important information about the effects of alcohol, how it plays a role in society, and how you can actually have fun without it. Located at 401 Thomas Run Road – Bel Air, MD 21015.
April 29: Join us for our End of Virtual Event Fundraiser while eating some delicious food between 1:00pm and 5:00pm. Proceeds will benefit our programs. The good news is the Ocean City Marathon is also this day so we hope to see some starving runners afterwards! Located at 12849 Ocean Gateway – Ocean City, MD 21842.
Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information.
Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.
Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD.
-Mt. Zion Church (1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015): every Thursday at 5:45pm. Please visit here for more information about meetings.
-Mountain Christian Church (New Life Center 1802 Mountain Road, Joppa, MD 21085): every Friday at 6:00pm. Please visit here for more details.
GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.
-7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church: 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about services.
Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.
-7:00 pm every Saturday.
-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church: 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015
-Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.
Rage Against Addiction Programs
Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes three sober living houses (Daughter’s House, Sister House, and The Cottage) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD. Click here to visit the Facebook page.
Rage Club: This program is a resource broker for families and children who have been touched by the devastation of addiction; we encourage open and ongoing conversations as we believe that is the first step in the healing process. Click here for more information
HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.*
RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides post-partum care packages to new mothers in early recovery.
Rage Against Addiction Team Members
Wendy Beck: Founder and Executive Director
Rachel Bongiorno: Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director
Mia Ellis: Newsletter Writer and Administrator
Amanda Buddenbohn: Board of Directors
Tara Kuzma: Chairman of the Board of Directors
Sarah Hoover and Michael Nesline: Rage Club was inspired by their need to heal from their own personal loss