South County family launches non-profit “Mo Fish On” in memory of loved one lost to fentanyl epidemic

The family of a south St. Louis County man is turning its pain and grief into action less than a year after losing him to a fentanyl overdose.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 8:21 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2023 at 8:23 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) -The family of a south St. Louis County man is turning its pain and grief into action less than a year after losing him to a fentanyl overdose.

Jon Bromeier, 28, died last October of a drug overdose, a demon his father said he battled for 10 years.

“Once he got to high school, really his sophomore year, things took a turn,” said Ken Bromeier. “He was hanging with the wrong crowd and started with marijuana use, then to prescription pills and other well-known substances. You would notice a change in his attitude and demeanor.”

Bromeier told News 4 his son went to several local rehab programs which would prove successful for a period of time before his son would relapse. In 2012, Jon attended Wilderness Therapy in Utah and moved on to Transition Therapy in Colorado. His family said after several months of living off the land, cooking and working, he came home as the son and brother they remembered.

“He knew he had a problem and he just couldn’t beat it,” said Bromeier.

During his ongoing struggles, his son would pick up a fishing pole and head to the nearest pond or lake as a way to decompress and get a clear head.

“He would call me and ask if we could go fishing in my subdivision, or anywhere really, he knew all the good spots,” said Bromeier’s sister, Kristina McDaniel. “He was the uncle that would help them get their bait on the line and made sure all the kids were having fun.”

Bromeier’s love for fishing dates back to his childhood, his dad said, as the two would go out often together, competing for the biggest fish.

“He would get one on and yell, ‘Fish on, dad,’” said Bromeier. “So that’s where the name for our foundation comes from.

Last fall, only a few months after getting his own apartment and back on his feet, Jon died of a fentanyl overdose. His family recently launched “Mo Fish On,” a non-profit that aims to introduce kids to the environment and outdoor activities, just like Jon loved.

“He’d be bashful over the whole thing but this is our way of making sure his legacy lives on,” said Jon’s dad. “You always wonder what else you could have done, but you can’t think like that anymore.”

Mo Fish On will host its inaugural event next Wednesday, August 2nd, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Brookdale Farms in Eureka. In addition to a raffle, face painting and concessions, participants can take part in tractor rides and most notably fishing, a dear pastime of Jon’s.

The non-profit has also partnered with Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs, an organization that uses angling skill development to help teach young people about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and how to deal with challenges.

Money raised by the group will go toward supporting treatment options for other families suffering from addiction. On average, McDaniel said in-patient drug treatment in Missouri costs around $10,000 a month.

For more information on next week’s event, visit the Mo Fish On Facebook page.