62nd Book of Golden Deeds Awarded to Patti Adam

Adam’s passion for Birthright’s cause earns her Golden Deeds Award

Posted Quincy Herald-Whig: May 03, 2014 5:25 PM CDT Updated: May 03, 2014 10:23 PM CDT

Patti Adam Book of Golden Deeds

Patty Adam, left, reacts as she receives a standing ovation after finding out she is Golden Deeds Award winner during a ceremony last month at Quincy University. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

By STEVE EIGHINGER

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Looking back, Patty Adam realizes a specific point in her life ultimately helped direct her future.

She explained that it was a dark period, and she admitted to weighing all the possible options concerning her own pregnancy. More than anything, however, Adam simply needed someone to talk with, to listen to her.

Her options were limited, at best. Grass-roots pro-life organizations were few and far between.

Ultimately, Adam made the decision to keep her baby.

Not long afterward, she also made another decision that would affect the rest of her life — and numerous others — in an incredibly positive fashion.

She began volunteering at a fledgling pro-life organization named Birthright.

Thirty-four years later, including two stints as executive director, Adam is still there.

She also is the 62nd winner of the Golden Deeds Award. Adam’s work with Birthright will be celebrated at a May 9 luncheon during the weekly meeting of the Exchange Club, a local service organization that sponsors the award.

“Everyone of our first 61 recipients has made an tremendous impact in our community by their selfless service and indeed touched the lives of those who live here,” Rick Gengenbacher, a member of the Exchange Club’s selection committee, said. “Patty Adam has upped the ante. Her golden deeds have literally ensured life in our community. That’s pretty powerful, and we are honored to add her to our list of recipients.”

The Golden Deeds Award honors a resident who is a selfless volunteer and/or has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community. More often than not, that help comes behind the scenes, far from the limelight.

Adam fills all of those criteria — and then some.

“I believe God called me to this,” she said. “I just want the girls and women to hear all of the available options. They need to know there is someone they can trust, someone who has no ulterior motive, someone who is there to help.”

The passion that has driven Adam is to help, not judge. Birthright’s emergency phone number is her own personal cellphone. She walks the walk as well as talks the talk.

“I have known Patty for almost 20 years and have watched her raise a loving and dedicated family,” said Monsignor Mike Kuse, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church where Adam attends. “Her life, like all of us, has enjoyed many ups and downs. She has survived extremely well.

“Her interest in people speaks of her enthusiasm to live her faith. She will go anywhere anytime to assist any person in need of guidance or attention.”

Birthright is free and confidential. Its function is to help girls and women facing an unexpected pregnancy crisis to make good and informed decisions by offering friendship and a listening ear.

Adam, now 64 and the mother of seven adult children, is as passionate about the Birthright cause as she was more than 30 years ago.

“For me, it is hard to explain … but to just see how God works these miracles is the most gratifying thing,” she said.

While many of the clients Birthright deals with come from situations tied to some form of abuse, many others do not. Some are everyday housewives who have found themselves in an unexpected pregnancy.

“What we try to emphasize is how big of a decision something like this is. Don’t be in a big hurry to make it,” she said.

Adam works with more than 25 Birthright volunteers.

“All of the (volunteers) believe that Patty is Birthright’s ‘angel,’ sharing love and caring with all clients,” said Connie McDowell, a Birthright volunteer. “Some have said Patty will have to live forever, inasmuch as no one will be capable of filling her place.”

Adam assures Birthright will always be a part of her life in some form.

“As long as God gives the grace and desire, I will keep doing this,” she said.

seighinger@whig.com/221-3377