FASDAY 2003 Grande Prairie Alberta


Our FASDAY went very well too!


On Monday the Local paper carried a nice article on FAS (with an error or two) and entitled it 'FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS"


Tuesday between 8:00 a.m.  and 9:00 we set up a stall at the big mall (4 tables) and had posters, literature, videos playing, the egg demonstration, a membership drive, a drive to sign the "alcohol" petition, draws every hour on the hour!


We place some 1250 packets of 5 trifolds containing information on FAS.  We cohosted with AADAC and were given a prominent location at the Prairie Mall - just off the Food Court!!  Couldn't have been better placed.


Beginning at 9:00 a.m.  we played a tape of "Baby Mine", then at 9:09 played a tape of the bells ringing.  We were very restricted by the mall management as to the amount of "noise" that could be made, but by actively approaching people as they walked by, we successfully placed a lot of info.  Many were attracted to the egg demo (we broke one each hour and added the alcohol - 8 hours later the first egg was "cooked") Many walked away astounded at what one ounce of alcohol (one beverage) could do not only to a fetus, but to any cell in our body including the sperm and very possible the ovum.  Several declared they would never drink again.  Some declared they knew "all about FAS", but when asked if they were aware of the resources and supports for FAS, their surprise registered, and we had good discussions based on the fact that there are literally no supports.


We gained about 40 new members, two of which expressed interest in attending our Caregiver Support Group.  One was a Grandma raising her grandchild (her son married an FAS'r) and the Grandma was so weary with the extra burden.


At 5:00 p.m.  the Mayor presented the Proclamation, pulled the 5:00 p.m.  draw and then the Grand Prize draw.  Then we repeated the Bells (which take 1 minute) and had that minute observed in silence in remembrance of Aaron Grey, a FAS'r in the care of Childrens Services, who froze to death in a snowbank!


The local radio stations aired different announcements throughout the day, even the night before.  The Cable vision ran our ad.  Channel 7 came to the mall and took pictures and did an interview.  That is supposed to be aired on Friday night of this week.  On Channel 7, - but I don't know the time yet.  Also, St.  Joseph's Catholic Church rang their Cathedral Bells for 9 times at 9:09 a.m.  The larger of the High Schools put up a poster and hand outs for us.  My apologies to anyone I may yet have missed.


Needless to say our little sponsoring Society of 5 persons went home dead tired, but feeling that we had really accomplished a lot.


Thelma Vincent

FASS - Fetal Alcohol Support Society

Alberta, Canada