Recipient of the 2016
"White House Champion Of Change Award"
“The Addict’s Mom” has extraordinary news! President Obama has selected our Barbara Theodosiou as a recipient of a White House Champion Of Change award! Moms, thanks to your nominations, Barbara, and her work with “The Addict’s Mom” is being recognized for “doing extraordinary things to make a difference in her community.” President Obama honors ordinary citizens who have the “passion and belief in their cause to work at the grass-roots level to create reforms.”Read More
The Addict's Mom's race car
Press Release Prepared by Sherry Schlenke
TAM is off to the races! As a child, TAM member Sherry McKnight spent hours watching her father speed around the track in his race car at historic Bowman Grey Stadium in Winston Salem, North Carolina. When Sherry learned that family friend Billy Gregg, an expert short track driver, needed a sponsor, she decided to contribute the fee. TAM founder, Barbara Theodosiou, gladly gave permission for Billy to display “The Addict’s Mom” logo on the hood of his sleek car!
Billy and his TAM car kicked off the racing season on Sunday, March 19 at Bowman Gray Stadium, which is the first NASCAR- sanctioned venue. Since 1949, drivers in their cars have been pursuing each other around the 1/4 mile asphalt flat oval short track at Bowman. Now, the TAM car will become part of the most popular sport in the country, at one of the most popular venues.
For every green flag to signal the start of the race, some 17,000 screaming fans are present. Drivers report that the crowd, who begin lining up for tickets 12 hours before the start of the race, is so enthusiastic and loud, that one cannot hear the announcements on the public address system!
With huge tires and wheels, the gleaming 2,000 pound machines are like rocket ships on wheels! The TAM car is no exception, with its huge carburetor and 360 horse power capable of passing the fastest competitors!
Throughout this summer, Billy will also drive the TAM car in races in Virginia, thus disseminating the TAM message even further!
Barbara Theodosiou is very thankful for the tremendous publicity and exposure that Sherry McKnight, who has been with TAM for 2 years, is providing to TAM. Under Barbara’s guidance, 85,000 TAM members have worked tirelessly, educating, informing, supporting, and advocating for families whose lives have been devastated by addiction.
As the head driver of “The Addict’s Mom,” Barbara recognizes that it takes a full pit crew of dedicated volunteer administrators and members to gain the attention of the public and educate them about the deadly drug epidemic that is racing across our nation, killing our children and destroying our families. TAM moms resemble the screaming race fans, who want their voices to be heard.
So, let us send a huge thank-you to Sherry McKnight and cheer for Billy and the TAM car as it reaches the winner’s circle!
Every September, designated by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as National Recovery Month, TAM volunteer moms nationwide host “Lights of Hope” candle-lighting ceremonies. TAM Moms Janice’ Wright Collier, Lori Vietri-Snyder, Connie Koprowicz, Jeannie Mintz Turner, Denise Mills-Williams, Noreen Beck and Beth Hines Donnelly Foster, from the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina hosted a “Lights of Hope” ceremony in September of 2016. The local media covered the event live. Officer Chris White of the Drug Enforcement Unit for Horry County attended the LOH event and then invited the TAM members to speak at the Myrtle Beach Heroin Coalition, to educate them about TAM and about their experiences as mothers of addicted children. Read More Here
From their kitchen tables to the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House; On September 19, 2016 The Addict's Mom Executive Director Leisha Underwood and TAM Marketing Director Michelle Jaskulski met with Drug Czar Michael Botticelli, who called the meeting to listen firsthand to the voices of parents battling substance use disorders within their own families.
Upon meeting with Director of the Office of National Drug Control policy Michael Botticelli at the White House, Underwood described how important the opportunity was to her. “Nobody is more determined or more affected by the disease of addiction than a mother," she said. "Nobody will ever fight harder to save a child. The societal stigma and misunderstanding experienced by mothers simply trying to save their children can be crippling. We are proud and honored to be heard by this administration."
The TAM quilt symbolizes the unity of a group of determined women, led by the re-markable Barbara Theodosiou, whose own beloved boy died this year. TAM moms stand united against the disease of addiction, united against the stigma of addiction, and united against the mistreatment of our children by the broken Mental health and prison systems. TAM moms stand united and undefeated as they “Share without Shame” the moment-by-moment agony of being the mother of a child suffering from addiction.
The newest TAM quilt was displayed to a crowd of thousands on the main stage of the Fed Up Rally on September 18, 2016. Using squares submitted by over 500 TAM members, the quilt is a varied composite of three different colored squares; red for a child currently in active addiction, white for a family member now in recovery, and black in memory of a loved one lost to this dreadful disease. Dedicated to Barbara in memory of her son, Daniel Montalbano, who lost his struggle with addiction, the TAM quilt is a symbol of honor, celebration, and poignant remembrance to those now gone.
Thank you Autumn Young for the video! See more pictures HERE
TAM members hosted over 100 Lights of Hope events nationwide.
In communities across the country, members of The Addict’s Mom (TAM) lit beacons of awareness to mark the passing of National Recovery Month in September, 2016. TAM members hosted over 100 Lights of Hope events nationwide. Held in homes, public parks, city and county offices and other public meeting places, the Lights of Hope events combined walks and gatherings to honor the memory of lost loved ones with a candle lighting ceremony to help raise awareness. Reflecting the TAM quilt, the candles lit were red, white and black to mark those in active addiction, those in recovery, and those tragically lost. An annual event put on by The Addict’s Mom, Lights of Hope continues to grow both in number and attendance each year. We are so very grateful to our members who held these events helping to raise awareness across the country. See the 2016 Lights of Hope Video here
See more TAM in the Media