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Epworth Children & Family Services is honoring the St. Louis Blues Alumni Association with its Pillar of Strength Award for the association’s community-service efforts, ranging from attending charity events and holding fundraisers to offering skills clinics for people across the city.

Epworth, which aims to help youth and families find strengths, overcome obstacles and build brighter futures, holds its signature Pillar of Strength event each year to recognize philanthropic leaders of the community. This year’s honoree, the St. Louis Blues Alumni Association, has helped raise more than $750,000 for amateur hockey across the city and more than $5 million for local charities during the past almost-30 years. “The members of the St. Louis Blues Alumni Association really embody our mission,” says Kevin Drollinger, Epworth’s Chief Executive Officer.

This year’s cocktail gala, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at the Scottrade Center, will feature an elegant dinner, luxurious live and silent auction items, and special appearances by Blues Alumni Association members, including president Bruce Affleck, director Terry Yake and board member Reed Low. The exciting evening will include live performances from rock musician and former NHL player Kraig Nienhuis, as well as local dance band Griffin and the Gargoyles. A local teenager, Luke, will share how Epworth helped his family overcome obstacles and become a treatment foster home for more than 40 special-needs children.

Event proceeds will help fund Epworth’s youth and family programs, which include an emergency shelter, residential and intensive treatment, family-reunification therapy, transitional and independent-living programs, special education, homeless-youth drop-in services, foster-family care, prevention services and a 24-hour help line.

In recent years, Epworth provided services to an annual average of 5,000 individuals. Last year, Epworth doubled its impact, assisting over 10,000 St. Louis children, youth and families; providing services to help them overcome challenges caused by abuse or neglect. “We help those we serve to build brighter futures for themselves and hopefully the next generation,” Drollinger says. “And we couldn’t have done it without our board, individual and corporate sponsors, community organizations and the St. Louis Blues Alumni Association.”

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Brittany Nay, a writer of 10 years, is an Indiana native who adores Australia, indie rock music, and reading and writing both fiction and non-fiction.