Come and join us on this International FASD Day and rock your red shoes, no matter where you are in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, or somewhere else in the world.
“Trust your crazy ideas,” says a sign on Bonnie Buxton’s bulletin board. Along with her husband, Brian Philcox, and Teresa Kellerman, Buxton came up with the idea of International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day in early 1999.
The first FAS Day began on September 9, 1999 in Auckland, New Zealand, where “Minute of Reflection” bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events – and then FASDay crossed the Atlantic. There were events in every time zone across Canada and the U.S., including ringing of carillons in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hastings, NE, and Austin & San Antonio, Texas. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders.
Community events to mark FASD Awareness Day now take place around the world. Each year increasing numbers of agencies recognise FASD Awareness Day – highlighting concerns about alcohol exposed pregnancies, raising awareness of FASD and acknowledging that alcohol-free pregnancy is a whole of community responsibility and not solely a women’s issue.