The 2015 NOFAS International Gala was an enormous success. More than 225 guests, including over 25 individuals and family members affected by FASD, heard inspiring words from Nicholas Davis-Magliozzi, a middle school student in the gifted and talented program who spoke about his experiences with FASD, and FASD champion Senator Lisa Murkowski. Dr. William Kennedy Smith received the Excellence Award for his contributions to the NOFAS mission, and Dr. Ken Lyons Jones spoke about discovering Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and his communications with French pediatrician Paul Lemoine, who first published the link between prenatal alcohol exposure and birth defects in 1968.
NOFAS is grateful to the Gala sponsors and guests who contributed to a wonderful evening and helped to increase attention to FASD and NOFAS. Thank you!
The 2015 NOFAS International Gala, last Thursday evening at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. was an enormous success. More than 25 individuals and family members touched by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) joined 200 advocates, sponsors, and distinguished guests celebrating NOFAS and its accomplishments and recognizing the important challenges ahead.
Nicholas Davis-Magliozzi, a middle school student in Washington, D.C. spoke about living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
He received a standing ovation for his inspiring story about earning his way into his school’s gifted and talented program.
William Kennedy, Smith, MD, received the NOFAS Excellence Award for his contributions as a founding board member and for funding and developing the first FASD curriculum for medical and other professional education students in the early 1990’s.
The evening’s program was hosted by former ABC News anchor and correspondent Sam Donaldson and National Public Radio host Scott Simon. Kerry Donley, former Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, served as auctioneer, earning winning bids totaling over $10,000 for a trip to Panama and Columbia donated by Copa Airlines, and dinners with the ambassadors to the U.S. from Panama, Qatar, and Canada.
Senator Lisa Murkowski pledged to keep pushing for greater attention to FASD in Congress and expressed optimism about promising new public health initiatives in Alaska. She also announced the introduction of S. 2060, the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act. The bill would provide support to individuals living with FASD, and she pledged to do all she can, “To put an end to FASD.”
She and Tom and Linda Daschle have served as Honorary Hosts of the annual NOFAS benefit for the past dozen years. The Daschles are founding members of NOFAS and have been FASD advocates and major benefactors since 1990. His landmark legislation in 1998 authorized greater attention to FASD at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies.
NOFAS also recognized Representative Tom Cole for his commitment to FASD prevention and support. Congressman Cole was unable to attend the Gala and received his award at a private luncheon on Capitol Hill earlier in the week.
Many members of the diplomatic corps were in attendance including the Ambassador to the United States from Canada, His Excellency Gary Doer and His Excellency Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari, Amabassador of the State of Qatar who took the stage to pledge to personally host a dinner for 20 and a private tour of an exclusive new luxury commercial, retail and residential development in the heart of Washington, D.C. The dinner and tour with the Ambassador was later auctioned for over $3,000.
Dr. Ken Lyons Jones spoke to the audience about his work identifying FAS in the early 1970’s. He read a letter he received from French pediatrician Paul Lemoine applauding Jones for advancing the understanding of the consequences of prenatal alcohol exposure. Lemoine was the first to publish findings associating birth defects with alcohol exposure during pregnancy.
The event was held at the Embassy of France in part because of the pioneering work of Lemoine in Nantes, France, and Dr. Jacqueline Rouquette in Paris in the late 1950’s, and to recognize the growing international attention to the cause.
Kate Boyce Reeder, Chair of the NOFAS Board of Directors, was joined by Sheila Rabaut and Dr. Sam Zakhari as Benefit Chairs.
Dr. Zakhari, Senior Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), rallied the spirits industry in support of NOFAS. In addition to DISCUS, Diageo, Brown Foreman, Pernod Ricard USA, and Beam Suntory contributed to the Gala.
The industry combined to match the donations of Gala Presenting Sponsors Kate Boyce Reeder and Joe Reeder and Tom and Sheila Rabaut. Tom Rabaut serves on the NOFAS Board of Directors, and in her role as an event chair, Sheila Rabaut brought in the contribution of a $6,750 spectacular diamond and pearl necklace from Adeler Jewelers in Great Falls, Virginia. The necklace raised thousands from eager raffle ticket buyers.
Also in attendance was Russell Begaye, President of the Navajo Nation, the largest tribe by population and reservation by land area in North America. President Begaye attended as a guest of Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker, a national law firm at the forefront of legal issues impacting Indian Country and a major Gala donor. Jennifer Hughes a partner at the firm that hosted the president is the Secretary of the NOFAS Board of Directors.
Coming soon to nofas.org are videotaped highlights of the Gala program.
Gala Sponsorship Packet
Download the Sponsorship Pledge Form as a PDF or Word Doc.
To find out more about sponsorship opportunities and to pledge your support, contact Katelyn Reitz or 202-785-4585, ext. 6.
View the Gala Invitation (PDF)
HONORARY INTERNATIONAL EVENT HOST
His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France
HONORARY EVENT HOSTS
The Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Thomas Daschle, Former U.S. Senator
Kate Boyce Reeder
Samir Zakhari, PhD
Congressman Tom Cole
William Kennedy Smith, MD
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
NOFAS SIGNATURE PROGRAMS
Your tax-deductible donation provides direct financial support for high-impact, quality programs that are leading efforts – locally, nationally and internationally – to create a world where all children are born alcohol free.
- NOFAS Clearinghouse and Media Center
- The Circle of Hope: A Mentoring Netowrk for Birth Mothers
- The 40-member NOFAS Affiliate Network
- The Collaborative Initiative on FASD (CIFASD)
- NOFAS in Indian Country
- Too Young To Drink: International FASD Campaign
- K-12 FASD Education Curriculum
- Monthly Webinar Series
- Policy & Legislation
- Family Support Network
- Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention in Community Health Centers
- Medical and Allied Health Student Curriculum
- Trainings and Certifications for Medical and Health Professionals
Would you like to support the important work of NOFAS year-round? Join The Friends of NOFAS