Ringing the Bell at the New York Stock Exchange for Fragile X Awareness

ringing the bell at the NYSE

FRAXA Research Foundation was honored to be part of the opening bell ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 5, 2018. We were there to raise awareness for Fragile X along side the National Fragile X Foundation. FRAXA President Katie Clapp and Director of Community Relations Dave Bjork attended with over 30 Fragile X family members and friends, including 4 self-advocates. This was a great opportunity to raise awareness of Fragile X on a big stage at an iconic place. The event was also carried live on television on CNBC, giving FRAXA and Fragile X broad reach around the world.


We are grateful to Lou Barbera, a trader at the NYSE, for inviting us to be a part of this incredible day. Lou is a parent of a son with Fragile X, and he coordinated the entire day and served as our host. Lou’s daughter Allison rang the bell in honor of her brother!

Thanks also to Erin Byrne and Chris Taylor from the NYSE for graciously making us all feel welcome. They helped get FRAXA and NFXF logos and photos of Fragile X children displayed on monitors all around the floor of the NYSE. And Chris joined seven friends of FRAXA on the podium above the floor where the actual bell is rung.

Lou and Allison Barbera

Lou Barbera and daughter, Allison

Katie Clapp and Allison Singer

Katie Clapp, president of FRAXA, and Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation


 Matthew Schiftic, Nicholas Dawes and Matt Woods 

Following the opening bell, Katie Clapp and NFXF New York City chapter former parent leader Anita Abraham-Inz were interviewed live on Cheddar, a financial news network that live streams from the NYSE floor, about Fragile X and research for effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

Dave Bjork

Dave Bjork, of Georgetown, MA, has more than 17 years of progressive experience in nonprofit marketing and fundraising leadership roles including Vice President of Development, National Foundation for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD. In this role, he launched several fundraising programs and became known as the “Cancer Research Evangelist” because of his dedication and commitment to basic scientific research. Bjork has made it his life mission to connect individuals, businesses, academic institutions and other key influencers to forge strong partnerships to focus on researchers being funded so they can deliver life changing advances. “Funding research directly and fully is the most powerful way to cure disease,” said Bjork.

Bjork earned a BS in Economics and Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.