In Celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond (DSAGR) held its annual Step Up for Down Syndrome walk on Saturday, October 14th. It was a perfect Saturday for a walk.
The event started at 8:30 in the morning on the grounds of the ACCA Shrine Center in Richmond. Kat Simons of iHeartRadio was the emcee, and international supermodel, Madeline Stuart, was the guest of honor. Over 1300 people attended the event. Kim Owens, Director of Education for DSAGR stated,
The Step up for Down Syndrome event is a day to bring awareness to the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome, and it is the largest fundraiser for the DSAGR to support our many programs. As I looked across the crowd of people, I saw families of children with Down syndrome of all ages enjoying and encouraging each other with much positivity towards our future.
After the walk, there were tons of family-friendly activities. Several participants from the walk also participated in a modeling show where Madeline headlined. It was a day of celebration, encouragement, and joy. Miracles in Motion was there to show off their amazing dancers. Kim Moncrief, who runs Miracles in Motion, does an incredible job building each of her dancer’s confidence and abilities.
There was something for everyone of all ages!
My girls enjoyed the family-friendly activities such as the bouncy house. My son, Jacob, enjoyed chasing bubbles and meeting Megan Martin, co-owner of Healing Sounds. She played her guitar with Jacob as he swayed from side to side to the music.
Teri Lancaster, the executive director of DSAGR, said,
It was an inspirational moment when I watched our families ascend the hill going into Bryan Park. We came together to celebrate the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome and, that, we did!
After my son Jacob was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I felt the need to support as many activities in the neurodiverse community as possible. When we support one another, we build a larger and stronger community. This is important because we, as parents, families, caretakers, and advocates, will support each other. And we need to know the community is bigger than our own circles and extends to all of us.
We are a village.
We are a support. And we are strong because our voices are together in unison. Our children are just like anyone else.
Molly Korte just wants to make this world a better place for all people. Follow the amazing people she highlights on Project: Just Like You at projectjustlikeyou.org.