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2003 Margaret A. Fuad Award

Eleanore Schafer

Presented by Presbyterians for Addiction Action (PAA)

Presbyterians for Addiction Action (PAA), formerly Presbyterian Network on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, is honored to announce that the recipient of the 2003 Margaret A. Fuad Award is Eleanore Schafer of Phoenix, Ariz. Ms. Schafer has devoted nearly 50 years of service to drug and alcohol abuse prevention and education, both in the community and in the church. At 85 years of age, Ellie still spends two days a week doing group therapy and education with those dealing with their drug and alcohol issues at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Phoenix.

Ellie, a mental health worker, started out in 1954 as the Executive for the Alcoholism Information Center in Bethlehem, Pa. A pioneer in this new field of community alcohol awareness and education, she developed most of the educational programs and community programs for the center.

Upon moving to Phoenix she became the first Executive Director for its Alcoholism Information Center. In 1969, seeking a deeper connection with the clients they served, she left administration and moved to direct patient care. St. Luke’s Medical Center, in urban Phoenix, was just beginning its alcoholism program. She has served there continuously in various capacities.

However, that is only half the story. A long-time Presbyterian and member of Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley, Ariz., she has always sought to connect the church to its justice and healing roots. When someone called the presbytery’s stated clerk and asked what the presbytery was doing to help alcoholics, the reply was “nothing, but talk to Ellie.” In the words of her nominator, Ellie then began “picking on people” that had an interest. As a result the Presbyterian Alliance on Drug and Alcohol Abuse was formed. Ellie continues to be active in the Alliance and in other presbytery social justice programs. She is particularly concerned with having a grant funded to work with the Native American churches in her presbytery.

Eleanore Schafer has been a faithful member of PHEWA and its networks, PAA, PAN and PARO, continuously since 1990 and a member of PHN since 1999.

The Margaret Fuad Award honors one of the co-founders of the Presbyterian Alcohol Network of which PAA is the successor. We are privileged to present this award to Eleanore Schafer who truly is a pioneer in the compassionate, effective treatment of alcohol and other drug abusers, as well as a church and community educator.

—Bill Ailes, PAA Leadership Team