THE EMERALD SPIRIT AWARD
What is the Emerald Spirit Award?
The Emerald Spirit Award is presented annually to honor extraordinary dedication and devotion to improving the lives of family members of alcoholics and addicts. It is presented on St. Patrick’s Day at the New York City Sober St. Patrick’s Day® party.
This unique award is for professionals active in the field of family recovery from addiction. As such, it honors an under‐recognized community of dedicated professional and advocates who work with family members, including children and adult children of alcoholics, collaterally affected by the family disease of addiction.
The Emerald Spirit Award was first presented at the inaugural Sober St. Patrick's Day® in New York City. It is a key component of the day's party and program.
Starting with Sis Wenger in 2012 whos 30 years as National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA) President and CEO, she expanded the organization’s programming and reach, building a national and international mission and establishing NACoA as the unequivocal voice for children and families impacted by alcohol and drug use problems. This untiring champion received the inaugural Emerald Spirit Award in 2012.
Honoring Professionals Working with Families in Recovery
The 2021 recipient is Ellen Morehouse.
The 2021 recipient is Ellen Morehouse.
Ellen Morehouse is the Exec. Dir. of Student Assistance Services (SAS) Corp., a non-profit mental health, substance abuse, bullying, and problem gambling prevention agency based in Tarrytown, NY. SAS provides school & community based prevention & early intervention services for youth, as well as training/consultation for adults in a position to assist them. Mrs. Morehouse developed 3 national model alcohol/drug abuse prevention and early intervention programs currently implemented in over 150 secondary schools in NY State, and replicated nationally. She has been a consultant for treatment programs, schools, parent & professional organizations, community groups, and state agencies in planning & implementing prevention programs and has presented at conferences in 44 states. She has published in professional journals and received grants for her work from several government agencies including the Natl. Institute on Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse and the CDC. Mrs. Morehouse is a founder & current advisory board member of the Natl. Assn. for Children of Addiction (NACoA), and Prevention Committee Co-Chair for the NY Assn. of Addiction Services and Professionals (ASAP). She has a BS from Cornell & an MSW from NYU. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Credentialed Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Counselor, and Credentialed Prevention Professional.
Previous Emerald Award Recipients
Ms. Metcalf, M.S., is the executive director of Faces & Voices of Recovery, a national recovery advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Faces & Voices, she was a senior associate with the Center for Social Innovation (C4), where she served as a deputy director of SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS initiative. Patty served for a decade as the director of Friends of Recovery-Vermont (FOR-VT), a statewide recovery community organization conducting training, advocacy and public awareness activities. In addition to public policy and education, her work has focused on community mobilizing, peer-based recovery support services, and peer workforce development and was instrumental in the development of a national accreditation standards for peer recovery support service providers. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since 1989.
Mr. Coppola has been the Executive Director of the New York Association of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Providers, Inc. (ASAP) since its inception. He represents the interests of alcoholism & substance abuse treatment, prevention, recovery, research, & training providers throughout NYS. Mr. Coppola worked for Catholic Charities of Montgomery County as the Program Director for their outpatient substance abuse program, the Associate Director, and Executive Director. At Catholic Charities, he served on the Executive Committee of the NYS Association of Substance Abuse Programs and as Chairperson of the NYS Catholic Conference Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Committee, as Chairperson of the Catholic Charities USA Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Committee. He is a Past-President of the State Associations of Addiction Services, the national association of state associations representing chemical dependency programs. He has served on numerous national, regional and statewide advisory committees, and had an advisory role with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Mr. Coppola received his Masters Degree in Social Work from the SUNY at Albany and his BA in Psychology from Dominican College. He is a Licensed Master Social Worker.
On March 14, 2012, Linda Ventura tragically lost her son, Thomas, to the disease of addiction. Linda channeled her grief by creating Thomas’ Hope Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to promoting drug addiction awareness, prevention, and achieving victory for those individuals seeking sobriety through education, advocacy, research and treatment. Ms. Ventura is a strong advocate in Albany to create change in legislation. Although she has a full time demanding job, she dedicates her time volunteering and speaking to people in recovery at various treatment facilities and at FIST educational events. Ms. Ventura is a board member of St. Joseph’s Treatment Center in Saranac Lake, NY, and Families in Support of Treatment. Linda is on the Long Island Council on Drugs and Alcohol Dependency and the Nassau County Heroin Task Force. Thomas’ Hope Foundation produces a weekly television show “Resolutions for Recovery” formerly known as “Long Island in Crisis”. The premise of the show is to educate and empower families and patients struggling with Substance Use Disorder.
The 2016 Emerald Spirit Award was awarded to Patricia O'Gorman, an author, psychologist, former executive, and international speaker known for her presentations. A NYC native, she holds her doctorate from Fordham University. Dr. O'Gorman is the author of 9 books and a former Director of the Division of Prevention for NIAAA, Founding Director of the Dept of Prevention & Education for the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction (NCADD), National Office. Dr. O'Gorman has directed a rape crisis center, co-founded the National Assoc for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) and worked in child welfare. She is on the board of the NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) and on the Advisory Board of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. Learn more at www.patriciaogorman.com where you can subscribe to her blog: thepowerfulwoman.net.
The 2015 Emerald Spirit Award was awarded to Frances Black. A Dublin native and the youngest of 5, in a very musical family, Frances is a world-renowned singer and the founder of The Rise Foundation. Frances is now also an Irish Senator. The RISE Foundation is a registered charity focused on family members of those with addictive behavior (alcohol, drugs, gambling, food or sex addiction). RISE (Recovery In a Safe Environment) is dedicated to working towards helping family members to free themselves from the stress,anxiety and worry of having a loved one with addictive behavior and to understand the nature of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships.
The 2014 Emerald Spirit Award was presented to Father Bill Hultberg of Caron Treatment Centers. Father Bill was a beloved spiritual advisor; humble, inspirational and unconditionally positive. He had the ability to connect with all people, especially those who were sick, in despair, or feeling unloved. Each month, Father Bill recorded a spiritual message of hope, healing, recovery and love, available to anyone who chose to listen to it at www.caron.org. We presented this loving, generous, untiring man with the Emerald Spirit Award on Monday, March 17, 2014.
Vice President and National Director of Children’s Programs at Hazelden Betty Ford, Jerry Moe is nationally and internationally known as an author, lecturer, and trainer on issues for young children from addicted families. He is also featured in the documentary Lost Childhood: Growing Up in an alcoholic family. This hero was presented with the second Emerald Spirit Award on March 16, 2013.