2020 Family Gathering

2020 Family Gathering Preview

We understand the impact of the Coronavirus on the safety and well-being of our FOP community members. Our goal is to support families in the planning process as much as possible with the hopes that we will be able to gather together for the FOP Family Gathering scheduled to take place in Dallas, Texas November 19-22.

**Please know that we will be continuing to evaluate the safety of an in-person meeting as the year continues and the dates of the 2020 Family Gathering are subject to change or cancellation.

To assist with your planning, we will be accepting applications for travel and lodging stipends now through May 15 and will notify applicants before registration opens on June 1.

Please also find included below a preview of the agenda and registration rates and schedule. 

This year we are excited to offer translation for Spanish speakers during our morning presentations and meetings with FOP medical and dental experts.

Travel and/or Lodging Stipends

The travel and lodging stipends provided by the IFOPA are intended to serve as a resource for families whose financial circumstances would otherwise prevent them from being able to attend the Family Gathering. There are two types of stipends available.

Those living with FOP (or their parents if they are under 18) are eligible to apply for one or both stipends.

  1. Lodging stipends will cover up to 3 nights of lodging (depending on where you are traveling from) for one room. Of note, rooms with a king bed also have a pull-out sofa sleeper.
  2. Total travel stipends will not exceed $750 for a maximum of two people.

The deadline to apply for a travel or lodging stipend in May 15.

Important Notes:

If you have received a travel or lodging stipend for a FOP Family Gathering in the last 5 years, please note these two requirements:

  1. If you previously received one type of stipend (either lodging or travel), you may still apply but only for the type of stipend you haven't received. Apply now.

  2. If you have received both a travel and lodging stipend, we recommend that you make every effort to find another source of funding for your travel. In the past, FOP community members have received travel grants from Miracle Flights, held local fundraisers or set up GoFundMe accounts. Please note that Miracle Flights requires at least 10 days to process your application, so please apply early. If you have additional questions or need additional information to complete your Miracle Flight application please contact Hope Newport, Family Services Manager at hope.newport@ifopa.org.

Please note that our travel and lodging stipends are limited and preference is given to those that have not yet received any stipend. You can apply now, but a decision won't be made until later in the year after it is determined how much funding is still available. 

All lodging stipends must be used to book a room at the hotel reserved by the IFOPA where the Family Gathering will be held at the rate of $185/night.

If you are awarded a travel and/or lodging stipend you will be asked to sign a travel and/or lodging stipend agreement. If you do not attend the Gathering, you must reimburse the IFOPA for the stipend you received, unless the cancellation is due to a medical emergency. If you experience a medical emergency and are able to receive a full or partial refund from travel and/or lodging vendors, you must refund any amounts you receive to the IFOPA.

There are a limited amount of dollars available for stipends, and the dollars will be allotted on a first-come, first-served basis for those individuals who meet the necessary qualifications (see stipend amounts listed in items 1 and 2 above).

Family Gathering Agenda

Thursday, Nov. 19 – The family gathering will begin on Thursday evening with a reception and dinner. **There will be an optional New Family Orientation in the late afternoon for first-time Family Gathering attendees.

Friday, Nov. 20 – We’ll have a full day with presentations in the morning and breakouts in the afternoon. Ask a Doctor and Ask a Dentist meetings will also take place on Friday afternoon.

Saturday, Nov. 21 – Saturday will be the last day of general sessions in the morning followed by afternoon breakouts.  

Sunday, Nov. 22 – Sunday will be an additional day of Ask A Doctor and Ask A Dentists meetings with the opportunity to enjoy the additional activities listed below.

Throughout the weekend participants will have the chance to participate in a variety of community activities such as donating to the IFOPA Biobank, participating in FOP Pain Research, visiting the Ability Toolbox Resource room, sharing your FOP Story, shopping at the IFOPA store and having your photo taken by a professional photographer.

Registration Rates

We seek support of generous sponsors and donors in order to make the Family Gathering as affordable as possible. 

  • Person with FOP - Complimentary registration
  • 1st family, friend or caregiver - $100
  • All other guests 16+ - $150 per person
  • All other guests 5 to 15 - $75 per person

The deadline for registration refunds is Friday, November, 13th. After this date the IFOPA will not be able to make changes to food and beverage orders at the hotel. Registration fees are applied to those costs.

Hotel

The IFOPA will offer a special room block at the event hotel at the rate of $185/night. After completing registration you will receive an email with a link to an IFOPA specific web page where you can book hotel accommodations under our room block. Reservations should be made by Oct. 26th in order to get this rate.

Rooms are available with a king bed and a sleeper sofa (sleeps 4) or two queen beds and a sleeper sofa (sleeps 6.) There is no deposit required at the time of booking.

Questions about the Family Gathering?

We look forward to seeing many long-time community members and welcoming new families in Dallas this November! If you have questions about the 2020 Family Gathering, please send us an email at familygathering@ifopa.org or contact Hope Newport, Family Services Manager at (785)294-1607.

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