When Patty Sterner lost her step-daughter, Amanda, to alcohol poisoning on her 21st birthday, she found that her death brought the family unbearable sadness, but also an underserved stigma and shame. Patty shared with us that she and those closest to Amanda did not receive the empathy they had expected from their community and friends.
Years later, when her friend and fellow community activist nominated her for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Major League Baseball 2010 Commissioner’s Play Healthy Award, we were moved by her story, and in awe of the positive impact she has since had on her family, students and community.
An educator and track coach from Dassel, Minnesota, Patty is a strong and compassionate leader who strives to educate teens and parents on the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol use, in part through a “Think. Don’t Drink.” campaign she organized in her school. An exemplary coach, parent and leader, she was selected by a panel of parents, employees of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and other industry professionals to be honored at our 2010 Gala.
Her efforts were again in the spotlight this August, where Patty was recognized at Target Field in Minneapolis prior to a Major League Baseball game pairing the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox. In front of a crowd of 40,000 fans, her three children and mother among them, Patty was honored for her advocacy of drug-free lifestyles and healthy competition. Since winning the Play Healthy award, Patty has joined our organization as a Parent Ambassador and continues her work of coaching and educating.
If you know of an extraordinary youth coach or student athlete who believes in healthy competition, nominate them today for the Commissioner’s Play Healthy Award at www.drugfree.org/playhealthy.