Last year, Niagara Falls was the one and only landmark lit up teal for Fragile X Awareness Day. This year, it was 1 of more than 20! How many can we get next year?
On July 22, to mark Fragile X Awareness Day, buildings, bridges, monuments, and neighborhoods across the land were illuminated in FRAXA’s signature teal.
Lighting Up Teal for Fragile X was the result of work of a team of passionate FRAXA volunteers. It was launched last year when FRAXA’s webmaster Eric Welin suggested asking the Niagara Falls Illumination Board to light up the Falls. Dave Bjork put in the request and on July 22, 2018, Niagara Falls was stunning in teal!
Volunteer Annie Li then jumped in with both feet, sending requests to hundreds of sites. The challenges she initially encountered within her own state of California did nothing to deter her efforts.
“California has a strict building lighting policy and all of my requests were turned down. So I just moved on to other states,” Li recalled. Within a few short weeks, Li struck gold, securing the first location, Wells Fargo’s Lighting Program at Duke Energy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Annie’s success spiraled across the country, and within months, she had locked in locations from Texas to Maryland to Washington State.
“It’s a remarkable thing to see a volunteer dive right in and have such a lasting impact,” said FRAXA co-founder Katie Clapp.
As sites signed up, enthusiasm grew and so did our team of volunteers. We would like to extend thanks to everyone who participated in this effort to make the world aware of Fragile X.
Some special prizes are in order!
Gave a generous grant to help FRAXA spread awareness.
Had the idea which started it all.
Force Multiplier Prize
Secured the most illuminations in a single city. Philadelphia had five!
Larger than Houston City Hall, maintained the all-important families-first perspective.
Kelly Randels Coleman
Rounded up a 50-strong crew to view Omaha’s Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Media Savvy Prize
Garnered coverage for the Tuscon, AZ illuminations by competing TV stations.
Trekked over 500 miles up the east coast to photograph Niagara Falls in teal.
Contacted hundreds of landmarks requesting illuminations. By the summer, even California had an illuminated site!
Light Bulb Prize
Bought teal bulbs in bulk and handed them out to all the neighbors, creating a teal neighborhood!
Filmed an inspired video panorama featuring Boston’s Zakim bridge lit in teal.
100 Teal for 2020?
How many locations can we get next year? Our goal is 100, with a group gathered at every one. Fragile X awareness is about letting other people know. We families are already so very aware, every day!
Please join us in reaching 100 Teal. Contact Kelly Randels, via email at Kellycoleman08@gmail.com, if you would like to be help.
Leslie Martini has a Master’s in English Literature and a B.S. in Journalism. She is a marketing copywriter for businesses, a literacy tutor for the underserved, and writes non-fiction for magazines, newspapers and websites. Leslie has been involved with FRAXA since her oldest daughter was diagnosed with Fragile X in 1996. Leslie works to raise Fragile X awareness through print and social media and is a member of FRAXA’s board of directors.