Sunday, August 12, 2012

#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 , 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> 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
    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
For suggestions on posters and printed material you can download yourself, check out the website

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