We’ve gone virtual!
The Parade of Stars: Down Syndrome Awareness Day of Giving is the largest awareness and advocacy event in Wichita in support of the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita. This event (formerly known as the Buddy Walk) is a one-mile parade route, along with our annual (and largest) day of giving AND largest opportunity for volunteers to show their support! Due to the current global pandemic, we’ve decided to go virtual in order to keep everyone safe.
What does 21 Strong mean?
21 – it’s a celebration of the people who are at the core of our organization – our stars!
21 – this is the organization’s largest fundraiser. Without this event, our work doesn’t get done. Help us reach our goals by each team member raising $21 for the cause! 21 – advocates help create awareness! Try registering at least 21 team members to join the fun.
21 – 2020 has been challenging, but we are organizing and planning for a strong 2021!
Who is the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita?
The Down Syndrome Society of Wichita serves individuals with Down syndrome and their community including medical professionals, educators, supporters and of course families! While the name ends with Wichita, the serving area stretches across the lower one-third portion of Kansas – including Hutchinson, Garden City,Dodge City and Liberal. Families are empowered through relevant learning series, connectivity, community support, resources, tools and valuable programs and services to impact lives. Just a few highlighted programs include:
Summer of Discovery Learning and Exploration ProgramArtist WorkshopsMonthly Learning SeriesConnection GroupsNew Parent OutreachExplore ICT Adult Life Skills
What does this support?
Since last year’s walk, we’ve welcomed fourteen new babies and additional families to our group to provide needed support. We’ve completed the outline for expansion of our adult exploration and life skills program. We’ve developed plans for an after-school respite care to provide assistance to active parents who need options for care. We’ve scoped out new office space to expand and provide additional programs and services so we become a true center for development and learning for families. We completed our consensus building retreat and assessment for our next steps as an organization. All of this is progress – but much of it has been halted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the turn of events in March, our organization made the hard decision to halt all face-to-face activities in order to place our highest priority on the health and safety of those we serve. With this decision, came tremendous loss surrounding the Do the Du event and the canceled Jokers and Jazz Bash. We continue to feel the effects of these losses. Our organization is not a chain and operates off donor contributions, which remain in our local communities. This decision was necessary, but has had a major impact on our operations.
Your help is vital in ensuring our doors remain open.
While the loss is evident, that doesn’t negate the need. We still have families who need access to learning series workshops to provide better care. We still have adults with Down syndrome who need art workshops to creatively express themselves. Parents still need a core group for bonding and growth opportunities. New parents still need access to books and resources to begin their journey. Summer programming is still important for siblings to engage in memorable summer learning experiences together. Expansion of services is still needed in order to provide value to those we serve, while filling missing needs in our community. Funds raised stay local and go directly to support the work of the organization.
Dates to Remember
August 1 – Lip Sync Challenge opens (for individuals with Down syndrome, only)
September 1 – Lip Sync Challenge submission deadline
September 8 – Last day to register with shirt
September 8 – Pathway sign submission deadline
October 1 – Online registration closes
October 3 – Packet pick-up drive through
October 4 – Packet pick-up drive through
October 5 – Final day of packet pick-up drive through
October 5 – Final turn in for money to count toward team total
All sales are final. No refunds.