of our proud sponsors
IS DON’T FOUL OUT ?
DFO is an annual, anti-substance abuse, anti-violence event that has become
the largest event of its kind in the Northeast. The event has a number of
functions that teach and reinforce making positive choices, resisting negative
temptations, and building a healthy community. Although its target audience
is youth, its message (and the activities that teach that message) attract
people of all ages, cultures, ethnicity, races and economic status.
HOW DID DON’T FOUL OUT GET STARTED ?
DFO originated in 1987 as an effort to bring communities throughout the Northeast
together in a concerted effort to send a new message to our young men and
women, too many of whom were losing their lives to gang violence that sprung
from the drug trade. Although the event started as an anti-substance abuse
program, it has evolved into an annual event that helps emerging adults to
define and achieve positive life goals.
WHAT ACCOLADES HAS DON’T FOUL OUT RECEIVED?
DFO has been featured on Channel 8(WTNH), Channel 3(WFSB), and Channel 30
(WVIT) Television stations. It has had countless of articles written about
the unique effect it has had on its targeted communities. These articles have
appeared in The New York Times and The Boston Globe, as well as many local
newspapers. In addition, DFO has received numerous Proclamations and community
DFO also was credited with starting up The Brownbaggers, a luncheon in New
Haven, Connecticut, where local gang members meet with social services staff
to coordinate resources to make the community more effective. DFO originated
this program as part of its drive to help New Haven slow its spiraling murder
rate among youth. In 1993, New Haven had the third-highest murder rate per
capita in America. The United States Justice Department credited DFO with
helping to reduce that murder rate by 75%.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE GROWTH OF DON’T FOUL OUT ?
In 1987, DFO started as a one-day, grassroots event that featured two speakers,
twelve basketball teams, and few local businesses that donated prizes and
souvenirs. Its avowed goal was to focus community attention to the local drug
It has now evolved into a six-day event that draws over 80 teams, competing
in a variety of events, with over 100 sponsors, watched by more than 10,000
WHAT DOES THE DON’T FOUL OUT SLOGAN MEAN ?
DFO started as a basketball tournament. In the game of basketball, a player
is allowed five fouls (in amateur play; six fouls in professional games) before
he has fouled out and must leave the game.
In life, some of our youth inherit fouls through broken families,
drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and the apparent chance to make a fast dollar
in illicit activities.
DFO derived its name from fact that, in real life, the last foul can be death.
DFO’s slogan is appropriate to both the event and to life. Each of our children
can overcome obstacles to achieve their goals.