#28 Days To FASDay – An easy FASDay Plan

Yes! You and one friend can do something!

Easy Plan – The Foolproof FAS Day Formula
Sit down with paper and pen. If you have one or two other key people to work with, print up copies of this manual, and invite them to join you. Give them some time to read it, and then answer the following questions:

  • Who is chairing this event?
  • Who can we count on to help out?
  • What kind of help can they give us?
  • Who do we know will want to attend?
  • Potential attendees — what other people and organizations in the community do we want to reach? (Start with interested friends and family members, and professionals –doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. – that you know. Then add people who should be interested: e.g., local municipal, state/provincial and federal politicians, agencies with an interest in FAS, school personnel, etc.)
  • How many people can we reasonably expect to attend?
  • Will we require child care?
  • Where should we hold this event?
  • Who are our best local media contacts to promote this event and the FAS issue?

1. Confirm location.
Once you’ve decided how many people are likely to attend, choose your location. Try to find a reasonably-sized meeting room with comfortable seating, and a convenient area to serve coffee, tea, juice, and snacks.
2. How to Obtain a FAS Day Proclamation
If you want civic and state FAS Day proclamations, find out the appropriate name to write to, and do this immediately. You’ll find a boiler-plate letter plus sample proclamations in this document. (Note: Canada’s provincial governments are not likely to issue proclamations.)
3. Planning the Video Premiere — Plus
The program is a simple one, but you’re going to need to make some choices.
Who will be M.C.? Choose the most articulate person in your group, or try for a local personality who could be sympathetic to your cause – e.g., a TV or radio broadcaster or local entertainment figure.

  • Will you use the Invocation, and if so, who will read it?
  • Will you ask your mayor or a municipal counsellor to read the Proclamation?
  • How will you observe the worldwide “Minute of Reflection” at 9:09 a.m.? e.g., will someone ring a bell nine times?
  • Or will you say a prayer, sing a song, have someone play a musical instrument, or have simple silence?
  • Will you have a keynote speaker following the video, and if so, who?
  • Or will you have a panel discussion? Your panel could include a birth parent, a foster or adoptive parent, an articulate survivor of FAS/FAE and a professional (teacher, doctor or nurse, psychologist or social worker, knowledgeable lawyer or judge, etc.)
  • Will you add music to the mix – possibly a live musician?
  • Would you like to close with the poem, “The Integrity of Hope,” by Michael Kami? And if so, who will read it?

4. Invitations and flyersWe’ve enclosed a sample invitation and 2 sample flyer/posters. Ask your committee members to come up with names of people to invite, and make a master list, which can be used in 2001. To save on postage, you may want to e-mail and fax many of your invitations, but make sure to follow up with a personal phone call. The invitation contains a RSVP: whose number will invitees call?
5. Breakfast Food and Drink
Easy does it. Muffins and/or bagels, cheese or cream cheese optional, possibly some cut-up melon or citrus fruit, coffee, tea and fruit juice, cream/milk and sugar. Possibly a local retailer or coffee shop may be willing to make a donation. If you’re tight for cash, possibly a local service club or church will help. Will you need storage or refrigeration or help setting up tables? Do you have enough electric coffeemakers?
6. Other equipment
Make sure your video equipment is adequate well in advance of Sept. 9.

  • Is your VCR working?
  • Is your TV set or monitor large enough for the size of group you expect?
  • If you’re expecting two dozen people or more, you may need two or more monitors hooked up to one VCR: this can be done easily with a splitter. Most audio-visual specialty stores can show you how it’s done.
  • If more people than you expect turn up, simply hold two screening sessions. One group snacks and chats while the other group watches the video. Then they trade places.
    Your alternative is to rent a video projector and screen from a company specializing in video display or presentation rentals. This will cost about $250-$300 per day, and you will need to darken the room. Some colleges and universities have this equipment in screening rooms.

7. Media RelationsYou’ll find a sample media release, ready for you to personalize with local information. Make a list of all of the members of the media you would like to reach, particularly those whom you know personally. You should also prepare a list of individuals who are knowledgeable about FAS, and willing to talk to the media. These might include participants on your panel – parents, people with FAS, and professionals. The media release can be faxed, but make sure you have a person who will make follow-up phone calls. You will also need a media contact for any members of the press, radio or TV who want to know more.
8. OtherBells and carillons around the world will be ringing nine times at 9:09 a.m. in the international Bell Concordance, to remind the world that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should not consume alcohol. If there is a church bell in your community, you may want to speak to the minister or priest, to ask if it is rung manually. If so, we suggest you photocopy the material from the FASworld Report regarding the Bell Concordance, or download and print it from the website http://www.come-over.to/FASDAY/manual.htm , and invite the church to join in. If you live in a city which is lucky enough to have a carillon, get the name of the carillonneur and do the same. Gerald Martindale, carillonneur at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church geraldm@planeteer.com> is building on last year’s concert of international lullabies and would be pleased to share this with other international carillonneurs.

  • Make sure you have a guest book easily accessible as guests enter or leave. It would be useful to have someone stationed to remind people to sign the guest book and hand out FAS Knots as your guests arrive.
  • The FAS awareness symbol, the FAS Knot can be easily made for about 8 cents each. They can be given away, sold for about $2-3 each, or you can simply have a cash box available for donations. Complete information on the FAS Knot can be found at www.come-over.to/FASDAY/manual.htm
    FAS Knots and the guest book can be placed on an information table, with other available material. The table can also include petitions your group wishes to support.

For suggestions for both U.S. and Canadian petitions, e-mail Bonnie Buxton at ogrady@axxent.ca.
For suggestions on posters and printed material you can download yourself, check out the website

#41 Days To FASDay – Gear Up – Recap Ideas

Make a social difference that will impact millions –
help support friends and family members who are pregnant to help
“Build Better Baby Brains” for the future.

September 9

Read Book One before
Book Two – Tiger Butterfly is
released in September 2012

Need gear for your event: 

7 FREE Themes to Build Your Event! 

Simply pick a theme and go – you can get shirts, mugs, stickers, buttons and if you don’t see it let me know and I can make it available.

  1. Each One Reach One Campaign
  2. Be a Life Saver Million Mind March
  3. Raise the Standard – Building Better Baby Brains
  4. Think. before you drink. 
  5. Free Spirit
  6. Trail Markers
  7. Life Braids

Step up to raise the standard. FASD is 100% preventable and lasts a lifetime.
Consider reading “The Whitest Wall” to learn more about the realities of FASD. Book Two – Tiger Butterfly to be released September 9 – share with your friends. Winner Mom’s Choice Gold Best Adult Fiction and Best Young Adult Fiction. High School Curriculum and Discussion available.

To learn more visit:
Million Mind March 09.09 Website

#60 Days of Ideas to Countdown to FASDay Celebrations

Let me know if you choose to do something and we will post it to our international site at http://www.fasday.com/

#43 Days To FASDay – Write some letters

Write a Letter to the President or Your Country’s Leader! Write to your mayor or the university president in your community

Write a Letter to the President
or Your Country’s Leader!

This is a great summer family fun project…
Everyone can “make some noise” –
artwork, postcards and note cards are great from kids

Dear President Obama,
Let me tell you about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or FASD,
…..go kids you can do it!!!

As part of International FASD Awareness Day,
please join us in this easy, free activity
to help raise awareness of FASD at the highest
levels of our government.

This idea originated with Tami Eller, a member of our local FASD Council.
Cheri Scott, FASD Family Support Project – Stone Soup

A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other.
M.C. Richards

Dear President Obama…

Let me tell you about FASD…

International FASD Awareness Day Letter Writing Campaign.

Did you know that President Obama reads 10 letters each night written by everyday Americans? Imagine if every letter the President read was written by someone whose life is impacted by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

If everyone affected by FASD writes to the President prior to September 9th then the probability of him opening even one letter regarding FASD is incredible. The more letters, the higher the probability that all ten letters he reads will be written by those affected by FASD.

  • Are you a parent of a child with FASD?
  • Are you an adult with FASD?
  • Doesyour sibling have FASD?
  • Do you teach a child or an adult with FASD?
  • Are you a grandparent of a child with FASD?

For everyone person born affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol, everyone who loves that individual lives are also affected.

Join us in educating President Obama regarding the most prevalent of all birth defects: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Join us in asking President Obama to ring a bell at 9:09 am on September 9 to recognize the importance of Nine Months of an Alcohol Free Pregnancy.

Starting the week of September 1 send a letter to President Obama telling him your story of how Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders have affected yourself and those you love.

Send President Obama a letter to at:
President Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Must be mailed by August 17th!
Send President Obama an email by filling out the form at:

Talking Points

The Facts:

  • Fetal alcohol exposure is an international and national crisis
  • Prenatal exposure to alcohol causes permanent brain damage
  • Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading cause of mental retardation
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% and easily preventable – simply no alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are a life long disability – from cradle to grave
  • More babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders than Autism Spectrum Disorders or Downs Syndrome
  • There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy
  • It is estimated that more than half of the prison population is affected by FASD
  • Prenatal exposure to alcohol costs the United States millions of dollars a year to provide services to individuals affected by a FASD
  • Early identification and intervention has huge impacts on the reduction of mental health concerns and behaviors resulting in legal intervention
  • Even with early identification and intervention, individuals with a FASD will need to lifelong supports

The Daily Realities of Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
As a Parent:

  • Struggles with you have raising your child with FASD
  • Struggles you have explaining the invisible brain damage to others who deal with your child* Struggle finding appropriate services for your child
  • The lesson you have learned in your journey of raising a child affected by FASD
  • Your dreams for your child

As an Adult affected by FASD

  • Struggles you had to overcome in your lifetime
  • Strengths and talents you have
  • Accommodations that enable you to be successful

As a Profession working with individuals affected byFASD

  • What systematically is working for your clients
  • What systematically is not working for your clients
  • Struggles your clients face on a daily basis
  • Struggles you face on a daily basis in obtaining resources for your clients
  • What resources are necessary for your clients to be successful

What needs to happen

  • Proclamation by the President of the United States recognizing September 9th as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day and the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy
  • Ask him to ring a bell at 9:09 am on September 9 in recognition of the individuals affected by FASD.
  • Diagnostic teams in all 50 states to facilitate and identify early diagnosis and intervention
  • More resources toward prevention and early intervention

#52 Days To FASDay – Get the Current Research


Stay on top of current statistics and research! 

Provide media interviews and reporters with the newest data.

Thank you for being a part of our Million Mind March to Build Better Baby Brains. The following letter was received by Better Endings New Beginnings – July 19, 2012 – We are offering you an early view today of the report. We appreciate everyone’s efforts. 

Dear Partners,
We would like to share with you findings that were published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The report*, Alcohol use and binge drinking among women of childbearing age – United States, 2006-2010, describes findings from CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) examining any alcohol use and binge drinking among pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age (18-44 years) in the U.S. from 2006 to 2010. The main findings from these data analyses are:
·         7.6% of pregnant women (or 1 in 13) and 51.5% of nonpregnant women (or 1 in 2) reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
·         Among pregnant women, the highest estimates of reported alcohol use were among those who were:
o   Aged 35-44 years (14.3%);
o   White (8.3%);
o   College graduates (10.0%);
o   Employed (9.6%)
·         1.4% of pregnant women (or 1 in 71) and 15.0% of nonpregnant women (or 1 in 7) reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. (Binge drinking was defined as having consumed four or more drinks on an occasion at least one time in the past 30 days.)
·         Among binge drinkers, the average frequency and intensity of binge episodes were similar, about three times per month and approximately six drinks on an occasion, among those who were pregnant and those who were not.
·         Among nonpregnant binge drinkers, binge drinking prevalence, frequency, and intensity were highest among those aged 18-24 years.
Alcohol consumption (any use and binge drinking) among pregnant women is still an important public health concern. Pregnant and nonpregnant women of childbearing age who misuse alcohol are an important population for public health interventions. This report helps identify the population of women who engage in risky drinking behaviors and can help target interventions to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies.
Because no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy has been established and alcohol is known to cause birth defects, developmental disabilities, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should refrain from drinking alcohol. We know that FASDs are 100% preventable if alcohol is not consumed during pregnancy, so why take the risk?
*Reported by: Claire M. Marchetta, MPH, Clark H. Denny, PhD, R. Louise Floyd, DSN, Nancy E. Cheal, PhD, Joseph E. Sniezek, MD. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; Lela R. McKnight-Eily, PhD, Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Online Manual – www.fasday.com
Seminar – Or try our easy, effective, exciting 1½ hour program that walks you
 through the morning of Sept.9: http://www.come-over.to/FASDAY/ABCDEFG/ 
(material from 2002 has excellent ideas)

Follow us through the next 60 days and plan your local or personal project to build awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder – Each One Can Reach One!

Need family support visit www.toolboxparent.com
Need ideas for adults living with challenges of FASD visit www.braidedcord.net
Need information on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders visit www.betterendings.org
Interested in service dog for FASD visit www.thechancerchronicles.com

The Million Mind March starts with a single step.

Daring to Live – He Won The Million Minds Race Without Ever Taking A Step

Jim Grimm never joined our Million Mind March, he died yesterday quietly in “his” home. He was 42 and he Dared to Live with Cerebral Palsy that captivated him to rejoice in a life few live so strongly. He never uttered a word, yet he profoundly and joyfully touched the lives of all who came to know him. He was an inspiration to all who met him.

Born with cerebral palsy and unable to communicate verbally or move of his own volition, Jim turned his severely isolating lifelong disability into a gift of connecting deeply with others. The community of Chisago Lakes rallied around the family while Jim was in preschool, little Jim went to school and graduated with his class in 1986. He was a friend to all. Independent and strong spirited, he moved into his “own” home as an adult and was surrounded by care givers who became his “Friends.” He climbed the first Liberty Ridge.

His Award Winning “The Heart’s Alphabet – Daring to live with Cerebral Palsy.” Won National Mom’s Choice Gold Award for Adult Memoirs. The Heart’s Alphabet is Jim’s self-told story, painstakingly spelled out, letter by letter, with the assistance of an interpreter is a tale of personal perseverance, a tribute to loving families, and-most of all-a testament to the possibilities that lie within each of us.

  • Jim ran the race of life wearing a wheelchair.
  • Jim taught life living independently hurdling barriers other placed before him.
  • Jim climbed Liberty Ridge – he scaled the impossible as a man
  • Jim spoke letter by letter with his tongue – his words and life live on in his book
  • Jim loved life, people, concerts, vacation, travel, sports & his dogs.

His dogs was how I was reunited with Jim last year. Jim was looking for a dog and he knew what “he” wanted. After visits with my large size puppies, he clicked with his tongue “No.” For Jim his No has always meant no, and his Yes has moved him forward. He never settled for I Can’t. For Jim has always been able to work with his family, love with his family, and do with his family and the community he became a part of – He expressed his needs – as a child and as a wholesome and loving man.

His parents, his sister and brother and the community he embraced can rejoice in a life lived with courage and strength. He won the race, he finished his life and I am sure on both feet this man raced into heaven – his job well done! For Jim death was his first step – and knowing him his body free he can now run and jump at last.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me.
Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:9

His website is http://theheartsalphabet.com/

May his family be blessed in their remembrances.