Louise Griffin, senior director of research and sponsored programs administration in the office of the senior vice provost for research, was honored at Gillette Stadium recently with a Myra Kraft Community MVP Award for her leadership of the Zack’s Team Foundation, which addresses the issue of substance abuse. Griffin was among 26 New Englanders to receive the honor from the New England Patriots and team chairman and CEO Robert Kraft.
“Mrs. Kraft demonstrated true leadership and promoted volunteerism throughout her life and did so with grace, dignity and compassion,” says Griffin. “I am truly humbled to receive this award in honor of this remarkable woman that through her kind, philanthropic nature left the world a better place.”
Griffin launched Zack’s Team in 2014, following the death of her son, Zachary Dennis Gys, from an accidental morphine overdose at the age of 21. The organization operates a sober living home in Portland, Maine, and it is scheduled to open a second location in Lowell, Mass., later this year.
Griffin leads a grief support group, speaks at local schools about the dangers of drugs and works with families on preventative measures. Through Zack’s Team, Griffin also has raised funds to help provide scholarships to people battling substance abuse to ensure that they receive the proper treatment; thanks to her volunteer efforts, more than 100 young adults have received treatment and are now living drug-free lives.
“I will continue to volunteer my efforts and tell Zack’s story to provide hope and shed light on this national epidemic; to restore families and promote healing for everyone affected by this disease,” says Griffin. “But most importantly, I want to provide the resources needed to ensure that a young adult can break free from the chains of addiction.”