Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk Promotes Awareness
On Saturday, October 15, the Heartland Down Syndrome Association hosted the Third Annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk. The walk is held in October of each year to mark Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The event promotes awareness, respect and inclusion for those with Down syndrome, and celebrates the many gifts these individuals give us. Following a walk through beautiful Cape County Park, participants enjoyed carnival games, dancing to music played by a sound system, and a lunch of pulled pork barbecue, chicken strips, pizza, and burgers. Several area businesses donated food and other items to help make the event a success. The group was also treated to a performance of The Poppy Field Scene by actors from VIP Industries' recent production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This year's event was the largest so far, with 190 people in attendance.
The Heartland Down Syndrome Association is a support group for families having a child of any age with Down syndrome. The group offers monthly support group meetings, as well as several fun family events each year, including the SUDS Walk, a Family Christmas Party, and a Summer Picnic. Several members of HDSA also serve as New Parent Support Volunteers. These volunteers have been trained through HDSA's parent group, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, to provide support and information to new parents who may have questions about raising a child with Down syndrome. Heartland Down Syndrome Association was founded in 2006, and the DSAGSL just celebrated its 35th anniversary.