In Memoriam of Mr. Duke Collins
Our mission is to honor a musician’s life lost to addiction by assisting others struggling to live in recovery. By providing financial support to those in treatment and new in recovery, we hope to bridge the gap between the treatment process and life after rehabilitation.
CEO / Founder
Sharon Gipson, a mother of three and grandmother, lost her oldest son Duke Collins to an overdose in March of 2015. After a period of mourning and blaming everything aside from addiction, she decided the only way to fill even a small part of the hole in her heart was to try and prevent another mother from being in her position.
Working in the Correctional Institution Field gave her insight into both sides of the impact of addiction, to addicts, as well as their families. She founded Bridging The Gap to Recovery as a way to memorialize Duke and help prevent another life taken too early. Reaching out to her and Duke’s friends, acquaintances, and those around her, she formed “Team Duke” and created the foundation from the ground up.
Wesley Geer has been a professional musician, producer, and guitar player since he landed his first recording contract with Jive Records with his band Hed PE in 1996. They toured the world for nearly a decade, selling close to a million albums. However, that lifestyle ultimately landed Wes in a treatment center, looking for help with drug and alcohol addiction.
Since then, Wes has recovered, and as a result of his sobriety, landed the gig playing guitar with the legendary rock band, KoRn. After touring the world for several years, Wes was inspired to create a way to bring music into treatment programs and launched Rock to Recovery in 2012. Rock to Recovery integrates music expression into various forms of treatment.
Duke Collins was a long-time friend of Wes. The two had shared artistic endeavors for a number of years, from playing backyard parties, to all night illustration sessions, and finally both getting record deals.
“When I heard of Duke’s passing I had a feeling he had succumbed to the same demons that plagued me, my whole life; we had many talks about our common plight. I started praying, and meditating, and talking to Duke, and it felt like I heard his voice, when he said ‘Get a hold of my Mom, she needs your help.’
It was shortly after that, Sharon and I were on the phone, Sharon telling me of her inspiration to start an org that could help people like Duke, searching for a way out. I was instantly drawn to the cause. It’s one of my greatest passions. We lose too many, like Duke, to this disease, unnecessarily.”
Also known as Duke Collins’ “Little,” Jourdan has a personal interest and is dedicated to seeing Bridging The Gap evolve to the highest level of excellence with her commitment to assist substance abusers in their recovery. The loss of her brother, Duke encouraged her to become part of the solution for others. Jourdan holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree, and brings new ideas and insights into developing a program to assist substance abusers in recovery.
Midwest Regional Director
Jeremy Walker majored in Journalism at Park University, Parkville, Missouri. He held many titles on the Park Stylus, including Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, and Sports Editor. Jeremy won several Missouri College Media Association awards. He also covered high school sports for several local publications during that time. Apart from a career in Law Enforcement, he continues to write and develop his craft.
Jeremy's experience with Law Enforcement FOP, as well as his passion and commitment to Bridging the Gap to Recovery makes him a perfect fit for the Midwest Region to continue its growth while we have expanded into other states.
Brenda Umbrell provides publicity, promotions, and media relations for the company. Along with keeping our activities and events in the media, Brenda works in the music industry as a freelance writer and public relations professional in the areas of publicity, promotions, and special projects.
She writes and reports for several publications, and gets involved in producing both internet and live shows in Southern California. Brenda holds a degree in Child Development and has seen firsthand the long-term effects parental alcohol and drug abuse have on children and families. She also understands how these affect a person’s growth into adulthood.
Touched by Mama Duke’s story of the loss of her son, Brenda jumped in and offered her services to the company.
With over 25 years of experience in the photo industry Kat Walker is not only an award winning family photographer but an experienced photographer in the music industry, she started her career as a photographer for a local Sacramento CA. radio station "KZAP", capturing rock legends.
Kat grew up in a dysfunctional alcoholic family environment and is committed to helping those in need to get back on the feet and live a better alcohol and drug free life.
Kay graduated from UMKC with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in nursing. Wound Care being her first of many mastered specialties before she stepped into Health Care Administration in the field of Correctional Nursing. In 2012, Kay began her tenure with Correct Care Solutions as an Assistant Health Services Administrator for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department in New Century, Kansas from 2012- 2014. Through her commitment and dedication to community health, she was promoted to Health Services Administrator at the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, detention division in Kansas City, Kansas. Her extensive history and success in working with detox patients fueled her desire to make a difference in the community.
BTG Honorary Members
Sean Lenhoff- AtomFlower
MamaDuke and Rocman (Tony Castriotta)
Michael Hullk Del Pizzo-SunFlower Dead and Rocman
Alex Rivas (Death Division), Brenda Starr, Sean DeLaTour (Death Division)
MamaDuke, Rick Horn, Tribal Elders during Ceremony
Michael Hulk Del Pizzo, Brenda Starr, Jaboo Scott Holiday (Rival Sons), MamaDuke, Wes Geer (Korn), Sean Lenhoff, Ronnie King
Jamie Teissere (Sunflower Dead)
Danny Molgard- RadioDrone
Bill Hudson (TransSiberian Orchestra) and Tony Castriotta (Backstage360)
MamaDuke (Sharon Gipson)
Call or email us to learn more about our organization. You may also leave us a message through our online form.
Our mission is to assist substance abusers with essential living expenses while participating in a treatment program. Applications for assistance will be completed in conjunction with a treatment provider. Catch our website as we move further along in the development process. Please take note that we do not provide any clinical services such as clinical referrals, treatment, or counseling.
If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction, please contact your local Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous chapters. In addition, your local health department, hospitals and/or treatment facilities should be able to assist you with identifying an appropriate course of treatment and a provider in your area.
Our hopes and prayers are with you in your recovery.