Renz, Ecker Center to offer Smart Recovery Group

Submitted by Ecker Center
Updated 2/21/2019 8:33 PM

More than six decades ago, two friends and members of Church of the Brethren served as the first executive directors of two separate nonprofit community agencies providing valuable support to the Elgin community.

Known at their conception as Community Concern for Alcoholism and Fox Valley Mental Health Center, the agencies began providing alcohol/substance use disorder and mental health treatment, respectively.

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Decades later these community-based social service agencies were named Renz Addiction Counseling Center and Ecker Center for Mental Health after their first executive directors.

In the current era of dwindling governmental and United Way funding, the agencies merged their operations after years of sharing clients and office space and participating in grant funded projects together.

The organizations are actively combining back office operations related to finance, electronic record keeping and human resources in order to reduce expenses and to maintain the high level of reliable service they have provided for more than six decades.

In their first joint service venture since the merger, Renz will be offering a Smart Recovery Group, an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous, as a free offering from 4 to 5 p.m. beginning Monday, March 4, in Room 1N6 at Ecker Center's main facility at 1845 Grandstand Place in Elgin.


For more information, interested individuals can email Cathy Tiberi at

SMART Recovery is a support group that emphasizes self-empowerment and a four-point program to address all types of risky behaviors, including substance use disorders. The points are: building and maintaining motivation; coping with urges; managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and living a balanced life.

SMART Recovery Groups also meet at the St. Charles and Streamwood locations. The program is offered from 6 to 7 p.m. Mondays at the Streamwood location at 1535 Burgundy Parkway; and 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the St. Charles location at 409 Illinois Ave., Suite 1A. They welcome anyone who is interested in or is considering abstinence. For details on the Streamwood group, contact Judy at or (847) 742-3545, ext. 228. For more on the St. Charles group, contact Danielle at or (847) 742-3545, ext. 224.

As the 21st century continues these venerable institutions, formerly led by old friends Jim Renz and Dean Ecker, are moving forward adopting prudent business practices to ensure their valuable and needed alcohol/substance use disorder and mental health services will be available in Elgin, St. Charles and Streamwood for years to come.

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