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.
Our mission is to provide a safe place for young people with 24/7 trained peer support so that we can save lives.
The Garden is currently our space for meeting. It's located in the backyard of our founder's home.
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 in training to become 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.