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About Us

Ricky's Retreat

Ricky's Retreat is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created as a free resource for young community members to receive mental health support from trained Peer Support Specialists in a safe and welcoming environment. Ricky's Retreat provides a unique place to connect with peers and discuss challenging issues.

Ricky's Story


Our mission is to provide a safe place for young people with 24/7 trained peer support so that we can save lives. 


Board of Directors


Wendie Kidwell was born and raised in Northern Virginia. She has lived in Swansboro, NC since 2005. She has been sober for 29 years, is a Certified Peer Support Specialist in NC, and a Recovery Resource Advocate for Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina. She is trained as a facilitator of  Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) as well as a PSS certified trainer. In May of 2022, after her oldest son died by suicide, she founded the non profit RICKY'S RETREAT Inc. It is her mission and passion to use her pain as stepping stones in the recovery of herself and others.

Wendie Kidwell

Chairman of the Board


Pete comes from a background of serving 27 years as a firefighter in Arlington, VA. He spent 30 years preparing income taxes. He has lived in Swansboro for the last 27 years and he is passionate about the wellbeing of the youth in our community.

Leon "Pete" Dodson


Retired after 35 years with BB&T Insurance Services. Boomer has three grown children, one grandchild and another on the way. He has been involved in coaching youth sports for almost 50 years and is a member of the Northern Virginia Football Hall of Fame.

Ernest "Boomer" Deconti


Diane is an eastern North Carolina native and has lived in Swansboro, NC for the past 30 years. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in accounting, Diane became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She has worked in the accounting field for many years and is currently an adjunct instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College.

Diane Scarborough



Rick has been deeply involved in 12 step recovery for 38 years. He is passionate about using his lived experience in order to help others. He was born and raised in Northern Virginia but has been a resident of Swansboro for the past 19 years. 

Richard "Rick" Kidwell

Vice Chair


Retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer 5 Lisa Potts served on Active Duty for twenty-eight years. She is a lifetime member of the Women Marines Association as well as a member of various other organizations, military and civilian. Her volunteerism includes hundreds of hours of preservation to the Museum of the Marine artifact and exhibit collection.

Lisa Potts


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Deidra is a local registered dietitian in the area who specializes in eating disorders. She cares about supporting the mental health needs of our community because of the strong link between mental health and disordered eating habits. She was raised in Cary, NC and moved to the coast in 2015. 

Deidra Sisk



Makenzie is a Marine Corps veteran, born and raised in New England. She has 5+ years of experience bringing awareness to maternal mental health needs through social media and podcasting. Her experiences have led her towards a goal of working in peer support in the future.

Makenzie Alaniz


WRAP training certified!

The Garden Plants

Mental Health Professionals Committee

RJ Russell

Bachelor’s in Psychology and a master's in sport & exercise psychology. Currently I'm a Clinical Psychological/Neurological Research Coordinator, Mental Health First Aide

Kyera McCrimmon

Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (LCMHCA license number 19516)

Mary Summerlin

National Certified Counselor (NCC #338969), Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC #11015), Qualified Supervisor, Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAS #21026), Certified Clinical Military Counselor (CCMC), Certified Dialectical Behavior Therapist (CDBT), Certified Hypnotherapist (CH)

Melissa Goyen

Bachelors In Psychology and Sociology with a Criminology concentration. Masters of Science in Addiction Counseling. Licensed Qualified Professional, Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS-28487) and Certified Clinical Supervisor - Intern (CCS-22151)

Bren Martinez

Addiction Counselor

Onslow County's health report states: 

Onslow County's suicide rate increased from 15.2 per 100,000 residents in 2009-2013 to 20.4 in 2012-2016. Suicide is a priority health concern for the community and the subject of a current action plan.

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