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2019 Community Award Recipient: Megan Kelley Foundation

Bev Kelley Miller Speaking at an EventAt its 2019 Banquet on November 3, ESTHER presented its Community Award to the Megan Kelley Foundation. The Foundation was created in 2016 by Bev Kelley-Miller to honor the memory of her daughter, who died of a heroin overdose the year before. Out of the pain of this loss, compassion, determination and hope have been raised up.

ESTHER is proud to shine a light on the example of Bev Kelley-Miller and the work of the Megan Kelley Foundation in combatting addiction, offering hope to families affected by it, challenging the stigma of drug addiction, and working on behalf of those addicted and their loved ones to challenge systems that criminalize drug users and withhold treatment.

The Megan Kelley Foundation is a major presence in the Fox River Valley, raising awareness of drug addiction, bringing messages of hope to students, parents, and community members, and working to decriminalize addiction and widen access to treatment.

The work of the foundation is carried out through prevention education, the Pathways to Recovery lecture series, Wisconsin Faces of Addiction and Recovery Quilts, Hidden in Plain Sight Bedroom Tours, and advocacy for treatment instead of incarceration for drug users facing criminal charges. The foundation sponsored the first annual Fox Cities Recovery Celebration and Memorial Walk in September of 2019.

Explaining her commitment to this work, Bev says, “Megan Kelley is currently voiceless, so I am her voice.” She shares Megan’s story at every opportunity, so that others will not have to walk in Megan’s shoes, so that other families need not experience such loss, and so that justice systems can move beyond punishment to restoration.

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