At the 16th NFXF International Fragile X Conference, three awards for outstanding leadership and work serving Fragile X families in the NFXF Community Support Network were presented. Please congratulate and, more importantly, thank the following leaders who serve the Fragile X community so well.

Leader of the Year

Joe Garera, NFXF Tri-State Chapter Leader, has been the catalyst behind the Tri-State Chapter as they have been actively engaged in hosting the International Conference. The group has been busy raising funds for the Conference, providing scholarships and managing the auction, all while recruiting volunteers to help welcome everyone to Cincinnati. While serving as the leader of this diverse group spread across three states, he has also been a mentor, guide and adviser to the Mid-Atlantic Region groups as their Regional Leader. While managing all of these responsibilities, Joe also took on the position of CSN Liaison to the NFXF Board of Directors.

Most Innovative Event

Carrie PetersonGreater New York City Chapter’s Gathering at Gallop NYC Forest Hills offered a wonderful opportunity for families to spend some quality time with the patient horses of Gallop NYC. Some attendees rode the horses, navigated around obstacles, and even played red light, green light! Others spent time just checking them out in the stable, followed by pizza. This was a great winter break for families in the Greater New York City area.

Group of the Year

The NFXF Heartland Chapter, with co-leaders Brenda Slama, Nancy Carlson and Tim Geels, was the first to sign-on as an official NFXF Chapter, and they haven’t slowed down yet. In addition to their successful fundraising events: the innovative Bike to X Out Fragile X and their annual Golf Tournament, they are planning their first X Strides event. The group has also been increasingly active in advocacy, raising awareness, clinic support, and education. They are also great collaborators, working with their neighboring chapter to create a first ever Bingo Fundraiser this fall. The group has also been successful in motivating their members to actively engage others in the mission, and as a result of their increased activity, the Heartland Chapter substantially increased its financial commitment to the NFXF in 2018 in order to help all families living with Fragile X.