The FASD Champion Award is presented to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the FASD Community in the Central Alberta FASD Network region.
Definition of a Champion: “a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.”
The following are individuals and/or agencies who have been nominated for going above and beyond to support someone with FASD. Or for increasing awareness of FASD in their workplace or our community.
– Andrew is a criminal defense lawyer with Advocate Law. He understands the many challenges that the clients suspected or diagnosed with FASD face when dealing with the Justice System. Andrew has assisted countless clients in navigating the justice system, in many cases avoiding costly breaches and unwarranted charges. He is dedicated and approachable, with invaluable knowledge and expertise.
– My mom was a foster mom of 24 babies. One of which was me. I was adopted. I have FASD. From as long as I can remember, my mom has been educating people about FASD. She appeared on the Oprah Show when I was just a baby. She was instrumental in starting the Open Arms program for mother’s with Fetal Alcohol who are parenting. And now hosts a weekly Facebook show called “Fetal Alcohol Fridays.” She also educates pre-adoptive families on prenatal drug use, parenting tips, and answers hundred of questions from people all over the world.
If it weren’t for my mom, I would not have birthed a completely healthy baby boy in March. She does that for a lot of people. Most importantly prevention, but for those who don’t, she is a lifeline of hope and inspiration for parenting FASD children.
You can see her on Oprah at Carla Clark on Oprah on YouTube. You can see her videos on her Facebook page Carla Sorenson. While she doesn’t love the spotlight, it would mean the world to me if she won. She dedicated her life to this cause, and I am so proud of her.
–My wife and I adopted a child we did not know had FAE. We struggled mightily. We happened to hear Carla on the radio speaking about FASD. We contacted her immediately. She taught me the ins and outs of these special needs. I marveled at her knowledge and patience. Carla talks to people all over the globe educating them. Her main drive is giving training that is not given to pre adoptive families, like ours, whose placements often fail due to lack of training. I’ve learned that her passion has benefited so many. She rarely takes any money to speak and posts free info on her Facebook page every Friday. Carla also often speaks to justice professionals on what Fetal Alcohol looks like on the street.
– The Red Deer Mustard Seed has been active in supporting the Central Alberta FASD Clinic. When contacted to discuss possible lunch supply for clients accessing the Clinic when travel and long days are involved, they have been very generous.
Community Policing Unit and Victim Services (CPVS)
– CPVS works collaboratively with the Network and various stakeholders to support the Youth Restorative Practices Intervention Program (YRPP). When working in the community they identify youth with indicators of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and connect them with the Network to determine supports.
The Crown Prosecutors Office
– The Crown Prosecutors Office works closely with YRPP to ensure that individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are well supported through the criminal justice process. The Crown ensures the needs or impacts of FASD are considered in the court system.
– Donnalee is a Community Liaison Worker (CLW) at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School in Red Deer. Her role is to promote mental wellness and support emotional development of students and families. Donnalee is an amazing advocate for her students and great at connecting with community agencies and resources to support them in their goals.
– Emmaus has biked across the country in an effort to raise awareness for FASD. Please look him up on Facebook or Instagram. #emmaus_holder #fasdacrossamerica
“Emmaus Holder, 19, is biking across America to raise awareness for America’s most invisible disability that is 2.5x more common than Autism. Starting in Topsail, NC he will bike across America to Los Angeles raising awareness and doing research for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.” https://www.thecshcollab.com/bike
Ethan Wanless – Kelli EleTrix
– Ethan, nee ‘Kelli EleTrix’ selected the Central Alberta FASD Network as her charity of choice for the 2021 promotional year, as Ms. International Pride XIV, as part of International Drag Queens and Friends© [IDQ&F].
In doing so, Ethan promotes awareness and education about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, his experiences being an individual with FASD, and the Central Alberta FASD Network, with each fundraising drag queen performance and event provided through 2021.
I think it is wonderful that Ethan, nee Kelli, has brought awareness of this complex disorder to a whole new audience and our local community through his performances and representation as Ms. International Pride XIV.
Francis and Jay
– Francis from Dakila and Jay from Rayacom always look at best options for any printing requests the Network has. They provide many non-profit discounts and are very pleasant to work with.
They provide high-quality and speedy service, while always researching the most affordable product.
– Jared is a registered psychologist who has been part of the Central Alberta FASD Clinic since the Clinic began FASD assessments in 2011. He is committed to providing insight and direction to the assessment and diagnosis process and always seeks opportunities for the growth and development of our clients.
– Meyer is an integral part of the multidisciplinary team with the Central Alberta FASD Clinic. Since 2018, he has been the physician responsible for medical assessment and diagnosis of client’s with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Meyer is skilled at building rapport with client’s and easing their concerns.
– Randy is a criminal defense lawyer with the Red Deer Law Group. He has represented several individuals with FASD, who have criminal charges before the court. Randy is approachable, easy for clients to understand and connect with. He takes the time to ensure clients are aware of the process and allows for clients to have additional supports if requested.
– Shelly provides the party room in Paint of Interest for meetings and activities when the Network needs the space. Shelly has hosted staff team building activities, as well as an FASD Support Group activity.
Shelly and her staff are always accommodating, pleasant, warm, and inviting.
– Toran is a young Indigenous man who received a diagnosis of FASD in the fall of 2020. Although he struggled with the diagnosis initially, he now has a better understanding of himself. Toran has shown tremendous growth in all aspects of his life, has a successful career that he takes great pride in, and is able to recognize when he needs support.
Additional Nominees: We appreciate all nominations of the Central Alberta FASD Network staff and board; however they are not able to be entered to win the Champion Awards.
– Chris is the best person for the FASD Champion because she has a lot of experience working with the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. She has made many allies and friends in the communities surrounding the area of Rocky Mountain House. She works tirelessly and is compassionate about her position as an educator. Chris is has proved to be dependable, hard working and dedicated to whoever she is working with and understanding of everyone no matter how or what she is feeling herself.
– Ms. Chris Chabot is a well respected community champion of FASD. She is well known throughout Clearwater county and openly welcomed on the Bighorn, O’Chiese and Sunchild First Nations Reserves. Chris makes every opportunity to raise awareness of the FASD program but also facilitate access to services and programs afforded to the entitled patient population. Her infectious positive attitude attracted the support of local physicians and has resulted in increased access to assessment of potential patients and support to entitled individuals. Individual patients and their families attribute their increase quality of life to Ms. Chabot’s unwavering presence and support.