Games, prizes, snacks, and information were all available at the most recent Portage and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Fun Day. 

According to CanFASD, the disorder impacts four per cent of Canadians, which is more than autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome combined. The City of Portage la Prairie recently proclaimed September to be FASD awareness month.

Barry Rud, co-chair of the Portage and Area FASD Coalition, says the Fun Day, which took place on September 5th, dealt with a handful of issues, mostly stemming from poor weather. Luckily, they were able to hold the event indoors at Stride Place.

"This was originally supposed to happen in the lot across from the Dairy Queen," explains Rud. "But, the forecast for the day was not good with rain and wind. We figured we would have pamphlets blowing around the neighbourhood. Stride has been wonderful for us."

Attending the fun day alongside Rud included multiple organizations in the community that are associated with people who have the disorder. Among the attendees was Jo-Ann Helgason, crime prevention coordinator for the Manitoba First Nations Police Service. 

MFNPS members.Jo-Ann Helgason (left) with another member of the MFNPS

"We have some role model posters to hand out and we have some indigenous games that we play with the kids that show up," says Helgason. "We have lots of different activities, and we'll just meet the people here and talk about their concerns."

Rud says, while he believes there would have been more people attending if it had been held in its original location, he's happy with the turnout.

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