Relational, Empathetic, Authentic and Loving

Who is LRF and What do We do?

Alex, Aug 2019

The “R.E.A.L.” in the Live R.E.A.L. Foundation (LRF) name is an acronym that represents how life changes when you live Relational while being Empathetic, Authentic and Loving. I chose this name after over 100 young adults told me that their friend “POM” lived this way. Their friend was my first-born son, Alex who died at age 20 from a fentanyl overdose in August 2019.

LRF was created to fill the absence of awareness and education in the dangers of substance use in our communities. In 2020, over 96,000 people died from all types of drug overdoses in the United States alone. Illinois had 2,944 opioid overdose fatalities – more than twice the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents and more than twice the number of homicides.  The increase in the number of fatalities is attributed to the rise of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. Since 2013, synthetic opioid deaths in Illinois have increased 2,736%. In 2019, the overall age-adjusted drug overdose mortality rate in Illinois was 21.9 per 100,000 population Illinois ranked 24th in the country for overall drug overdose fatality rate in 2019.The pain from my son dying and knowing that Alex did not get the help he needed because of shame from the stigmas & lies of substance use dependencies was turned into a purpose. The average person knows about 500 people at any given time so that would mean over 48 million people have been touched by an overdose death each year! I know the pain and I don’t want that number to continue growing at this alarming rate. I am a believer of THE world won’t change until I change MY world to inspire you to change YOUR world so you can inspire others to change THEIR world. Together, we can make a positive difference in our communities.The Live R.E.A.L. Foundation was founded in 2020 and as of 2022 our Board of Director has 4 active officers along with me as the Executive Director. We are a registered 501(c)3 charity that provides advocacy to fight against the stigma of mental illnesses and substance use dependency, awareness of the dangers of the new millennial drugs, education on opioids, overdoses & naloxone and support for those left behind from substance use or mental illness deaths.

We sell blank note cards and prints on Etsy of paintings that were created by the young man who inspired us to open LRF. As a child, Alex loved to paint and had an obviously natural talent. We use the proceeds to fund all programs of the Live R.E.A.L. Foundation.

Join the movement of positive change by Living Relational, Empathetic, Authentic and Loving Every Day!

Opioid Data is from https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/opioids/idph-data-dashboard.html


Our Programs
          Awareness
Interactive Community Events -
Advocacy, Awareness & Education of opioids, substance use, addiction risks, overdoses & mental wellness activites
The R.E.A.L. News - Quarterly Newsletter - LRF Updates, Stories & Information
Livin' R.E.A.L. Facebook Group - a place where our community members share R.E.A.L. events & examples they have witnessed
Livin' R.E.A.L. Blog - Stories of Bev's Journey Through Life
         Advocacy Through Experience
Livin' R.E.A.L. with Grief - Support for Substance Use or Mental Illness Related Loss
A   R.E.A.L.  Life podcast - stories of people living R.E.A.L. through addiction & beyond

FREE Opioids, Overdose & Naloxone Training
Community Training - open to the public & FREE

Occupational Training - 1 hr training presentation for employees
Pop-up Training - Random locations, walk-up 5 minute quick trainings on how to use Narcan
Opioid Overdose Death Prevention Kits - Valued at $100 & given free to everyone trained

      Education Seminars 3-night series
Get REAL About Drugs: We’re Not in the 80s Anymore
1 Substance Use Prevention, 2 The Reality of Social Media & 3 Rescue, Recovery & Resources

Support Instead of Stigmas1 The 5 W’s of Stigmas, 2 Personal Journeys, 3 Role Playing

(2 hours each & can be consecutive, 1-night weekly OR 1-night monthly)

Founder and Executive Director, Bev Pomering

Bev Pomering is a lifelong resident of the IL/WI stateline area. She married Terry Pomering over 25 years ago. Together they raised two boys in Roscoe, Illinois. The Pomerings lost their first born son, Alex in August 2019 at age 20 from a fentanyl overdose while doing heroin.

Alex had increased his drug use over the years starting with marijuana and alcohol use at 13 years old. By the time Alex turned 20 he was also using prescription pills, cocaine and heroin. Bev & Terry have been told that Alex had kept the increase of drug use into cocaine and heroin from them because he was ashamed. Alex had tried to stop using these drugs but without his family knowing he had even less of a chance to fight the addiction. This is where the passion behind Live R.E.A.L. was born. Bev hopes that providing education, awareness, resources and support to those who are struggling that she will make a difference in the world. "Imagine how your life would be different if you and those in your circle lived life authentically. Society will change if each of us strive to build relationships with people by sharing your life experiences and willingly walk beside them in difficult times without judgement. Love is contagious!" ~ Bev Pomering

President, Christopher Doering

Most people call him Chris, unless he is in trouble with his mom, even today.
Chris is a husband, father/stepfather, son, brother, uncle, and his personal favorite, Grandpa. He is a Christian and a Jesus follower. Chris is not perfect and doesn’t pretend to be. He is a broken person and relies on the grace of god. Chris is a church elder to help guide the spiritual direction of our congregation.
Chris has a personal and emotional interest in Live R.E.A.L. . Chris' son’s best friend and the kindest and most polite of his friends died from an overdose. When Chris' family had celebrations, their kids were always allowed a guest, and this friend was always his son’s “plus one.” Chris was devastated and shocked when his son called him with the news that his friend had died in his home. Chris would more likely have expected the opposite call. A lot changed that day.
Chris' life experience has taught him the pain and anguish of addiction and the roller coaster ride of mental health issues. His goal in serving on the board of Live R. E.A.L. is to bring awareness that there is hope and that many others struggle similarly. The systems in place are insufficient and fail us regularly. We need to be R.E.A.L..

Treasurer, Nannette Reid

Nannette Reid grew up in Rockton, IL and lived in the Roscoe/Rockton area until marrying her current husband more than 20 years ago and moving to Wisconsin for his job. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, traveling, exploring Wisconsin on her ATV, and crafting with friends. Her greatest joy though is her grandson.

Living R.E.A.L. is a very personal journey for Nannette, especially after losing her nephew, to a fentanyl overdose in 2019. She grew up in a dysfunctional home in northern Illinois surrounded by alcoholism and mental health issues. As a child, she felt unworthy, ashamed, and isolated. When she turned 21, she started attending Al-anon meeting, where she began to learn that she wasn’t any of those things. When her son was born in the mid-80’s, she was determined that she would somehow “break the chain” and that he would always know that he was loved and important. Then in her mid-thirties, she had the opportunity to work for Hazelden Foundation (now Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation) for almost 10 years where she learned more about the addiction disease and her own co-dependency shaped lifestyle.

To Nannette, it’s an ongoing journey to fill her life with empathy, authenticity, and love in a relational manner. Her desire is to help change the world so that it’s one filled with understanding and compassion for everyone.




Secretary, Sherry Spring
Sherry Spring is a Senior Accountant for a multinational financial services corporation. She has lived in Ogle County her
entire life. Sherry is passionate about everything she is involved in. Her passions include bengal rescue, lilium flowers, her dogs and always caring for her for friends and family.
Mental wellness, acceptance and stopping stigmas has been become a personal journey for Sherry. She strives to better the world around her by living a R.E.A.L. life.

Can you see yourself here? We can.
Go to the "JOIN THE TEAM" page to fill out an application today.

VACANT POSITIONS
Secretary - opening soon!
Media Coordinator
Director of Donor Experience

Board Members
Live R.E.A.L. Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 organization. EIN: 86-1778433