NOFAS Gala to Raise Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

On September 12, the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) will host its annual “Smart Moms, Healthy Babies” International Gala to raise funds for the prevention and support for families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), a leading known cause of brain damage, developmental disabilities, and birth defects in children.

“Smart Moms, Healthy Babies” will bring together FASD prevention advocates and members of the DC community committed to supporting those afflicted by FASD, FASD research and prevention efforts. NBC Channel 4 television personality Amelia Segal will join members of the diplomatic community and congressional leaders in hosting the evening gala, which will include a silent auction and fashion show of modern maternity wear.

NOFAS, the nation’s only FASD advocacy organization, strives to educate the public on the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and supports individuals and families living with FASD. Each year in the United States as many as 40,000 children are born with the disorder – more than those afflicted by downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida and sudden infant death syndrome, combined. FASD-related mental disabilities are 100% preventable through educational outreach and prevention methods.

“The gala is an opportunity to promote much-needed international awareness of FASD and shine a light on recent advancements in the cause, especially the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-5) fifth edition which recognizes the disorder,” said NOFAS President Tom Donaldson.  “The updated manual will facilitate further research and awareness, reinforcing NOFAS’ mission to prevent FASD,” he added.

Contributions raised during the evening will go towards funding for the services NOFAS provides nationally, including the acclaimed Clearinghouse web portal, call center, screenings and trainings on FASD for affected individuals and families, education and advocacy.  Major Gala sponsors include DRS Technologies, UBS, Greenberg Traurig, Nestle, CIRI, and NOFAS’ long-time pro bono counsel, Patton Boggs LLP.

The invite-only event tickets are $250 per individual and $150 for expecting mothers, with sponsorship opportunities still available. Those interested in attending may request an invitation by emailing Katelyn Reitz at reitz@nofas.org.