By Emily Myers
Special to Stlouisrams.com
The St. Louis Rams are proud to present the 2013 Georgia Frontiere Community Quarterback Award to four outstanding volunteers in the St. Louis bi-state area. The award, sponsored by the St. Louis Rams and GFI Digital, Inc., honors individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication, and commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism. The winners were awarded a $5,000 grant for the organization they represent. Ms. Adrienne Eigles is one of these winners for her efforts with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – St. Louis Area (NCADA).
Adrienne Eigles and her family were heartbroken when her 22 year old son Andrew passed away from a heroin overdose in September of 2011. Andrew became entangled in the drug’s addictive qualities after developing a dependence for a pain killer prescribed during recovery from a football injury. Rather than wallowing in despair, Adrienne and her two daughters, Julie and Danielle, chose to turn their pain into action. Later joined by Andrew’s childhood friend Dan Kessler, the group set out to make a change in the St. Louis heroin epidemic.
Determined to keep other families from experiencing the devastation of losing a child to heroin addiction, Adrienne reached out to friends and family for ideas on how to get involved and make a difference. She was soon advised to contact NCADA, and was subsequently invited to attend a brainstorm session of family members and friends of youth who died from heroin and prescription painkillers. The goal of the group was to create a community event that would bring people together to fight a growing St. Louis heroin epidemic.
Under Adrienne’s leadership, the small group of NCADA volunteers came up with the idea of holding an area-wide event with media publicity and promotion. The idea was to make the event accessible, affordable, and family-friendly. The group worked to organize the Strike Down Heroin multisite bowling event to raise awareness and funds. Through the group’s outreach efforts to various media outlets, hundreds of thousands in the St. Louis area were able to learn about the heroin issue and the bowling event. The 2012 and 2013 Strike Down Heroin events brought in 1,400 people and raised $75,000 for NCADA’s anti-heroin outreach and intervention programs. The event was clearly a tremendous success in every sense.
Last year St. Louis County saw its first decrease in opiate overdose deaths in the past five years—by nearly 25%. Tim Mickelson, Adrienne’s nominator and director of development at NCADA, believes that much credit belongs to Adrienne for her help, guidance and passion for change. She certainly has been integral in these successes.
As her nominator Tim Mickelson stated, “on those rare occasions, a parent will step up through the pain and turn it into actions that help others and, at the same time, will begin to heal themselves—that is what Adrienne Eigles did. Her actions have directly touched and improved the lives of countless others.” Through her various efforts with NCADA, Adrienne has shown her dedication to bettering the St. Louis area, and the St. Louis Rams are honored to recognize such a vital member of the community.
Adrienne and her fellow winners were all invited to Rams Park for an award luncheon on November 22 to honor their efforts in the community. The winners will also be honored at the Edward Jones Dome prior to the Rams game on Sunday, December 22 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Georgia Frontiere Community Quarterback Awards, presented by GFI Digital, initially began in 2000 as the Community Quarterback Awards, but was renamed in 2008 to honor the late Rams’ owner and chairman, Georgia Frontiere. In the years that have passed, the Rams have donated over $250,000 to community organizations and charities as a result of the program.