The Power of Collaboration
This month, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, we were proud to host and be part of events around the state that raised awareness and acceptance of our amazing friends with Down syndrome.
As part of the World Down Syndrome Day Celebration, DSAW and the other members of the Wisconsin Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition hosted a roundtable discussion on able accounts, policy, and employment initiatives at the GE Research Park Auditorium. Speakers included Wisconsin State Rep. John Macco, NDSS President Sara Weir, Arc Wisconsin State Director Lisa Pugh, and other professionals. There were also many Self-Advocate representatives from DSAW! A special thank you to Wisconsin Upside Down, MADSS, GE, and Jennifer Janowski for coordinating this wonderful event and discussion.
Advocacy Wine Dinner
In addition, Wisconsin Upside Down hosted a Wine Dinner with representatives from DSAW and MADSS present in support of our collective advocacy efforts. Sara Weir from the National Down Syndrome Society was present as the event's special guest. We are very inspired and feel ready to take on the future after this amazing event.
Medical Professional Training
DSAW trained more than 80 future medical professionals at Marquette and Medical College of Wisconsin at the end of March in partnership with the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Down Syndrome Clinic. Students were given up-to-date information on Down syndrome and learned about delivering a fair and compassionate Down syndrome diagnosis.
Statewide Peer Sensitivity Trainings
DSAW continued to host Peer Sensitivity Trainings around the state this month, especially surrounding World Down Syndrome Day. Already this year, more than 200 students have been trained on what Down syndrome is, what it isn't, and how to be a good friend to someone with Down syndrome.
And of course, World Down Syndrome Day Celebrations!!
The DSAW family certainly knows how to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in style! Members across the state rocked their crazy socks, handed out awareness cards, celebrated at local DSAW events, and raised funds in honor of their loved ones. We loved partying with you all month long!! Here are a few pictures of our favorite socks from 3-21:
Ben's Cycle Fundraiser
Thank you to our friends at Ben's Cycle for hosting the 2nd Annual Indoor Century Ride to raise money for DSAW. The day raised more than $3,000 to support DSAW's programs and services around the state. You all amaze us with your dedication and amazing athletic talents!!
In addition to the monthly Mom's Night Out, DSAW-Fox Cities co-hosted a KITE Conference with SOAR and WisconSibs. This was a great chance to learn about disability-related topics from various presenters, including many DSAW staff.
DSAW-Fox Cities also hosted their annual World Down Syndrome Day event at Monkey Joe's. Families had an amazing time!
In the spirit of raising awareness, DSAW-Fox Cities also launched their awareness billboard campaign. See the photo below.
DSAW-Green Bay had a busy month of programming in March. They hosted their monthly Kidz Town playgroup on the first Saturday of the month which was well-attended by area families.
DSAW-Green Bay also participated in two movie events this month. One event, hosted by Journey Community Church, was a showing of 'Where Hope Grows' for adults, and included free childcare. The event was a fundraiser for DSAW-Green Bay and was a great success!
The other movie event was our World Down Syndrome Day event on Saturday, March 16th. We saw 'Sing' at De Pere Cinema and had a great time celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.
We also hosted the annual Live Like Ava event on Friday, March 24th at Green Bay Fusion. This was a great evening of honoring the life of Ava Moody while enjoying the company of other families.
Our month wrapped up with our monthly Mom's Night Out at 1919 Kitchen & Tap. We had a lot to discuss and be thankful for after a busy month!
Kenosha, Racine and Walworth
DSAW-KRW hosted its first Parent's Night Out at the beginning of the month. We had a great turnout and are excited for many more DSAW-KRW events to come in 2017! Click here to see our other upcoming programs and events.
DSAW-COTH-GLA hosted its annual World Down Syndrome Day Event at the Onalaska Omni Center on Sunday, March 19th. Families enjoyed snacks, games, crafts, activities, and custom World Down Syndrome Day t-shirts and posters!
We also hosted a Parent's Night Out. On March 25, a fun-spirited group of parents came together for the first Parents Night Out of 2017 at Java Vino in La Crosse. This eclectic group included Jenny Levendoski and Jamie Frausto (parents of Eliza) , Andrea and Jerry Finney (parents of Levi), Libby and TJ Teegan (parents of Jack), Diane Falter (parent of Cecilia) , and Alicia Sykes (parent of Quincy). It was great to come together to talk about our Heroes with Down syndrome. We all came from different backgrounds. We may never have crossed paths if we didn't have a loved one with Down syndrome. People with DS are more alike than different, so are the parents/ caregivers of people with DS. We all love someone with Down syndrome. We all want to see people with Down syndrome be loved and accepted. We all need to work together to benefit our Heroes with Down syndrome. See you at the next event.
DSAW-Sheboygan and Surrounding Counties hosted an AWESOME World Down Syndrome Day Celebration at Blue Harbor Resort Indoor Waterpark. More than 80 people joined us for this fun event. Check out DSAW-Sheboygan's other upcoming events here!
Our Wausau chapter hosted a beautiful World Down Syndrome Day event this month at Petersen Barn. The children were able to pet horses and parents got a chance to connect and meet other members of our budding chapter. We even had a photographer at the event to capture the memories! Take a look at our photo gallery.
We were also fortunate to get some press this month in honor of World Down Syndrome Day. Laurel and Jeremiah, members of our Wausau chapter, did a radio interview with Oliver Burrows from 1230WXCO to talk about World Down Syndrome Day - you better believe that they were rockin' their crazy socks, too! We also received coverage on the WSAW-7 TV News.
DSAW-Greater Milwaukee hosted its annual World Down Syndrome Day Event at Country Springs Waterpark on March 20th. More than 160 people joined us and had a blast!
Young Leaders Bootcamp
Self-Advocates joined us for a fun month of Young Leaders Bootcamp as we went through the PeopleSmart Curriculum. We worked on relationships and interpersonal skills. Consider signing up for our FREE April Bootcamp on Planting & Gardening.
Cooking with the Kiddos
We had a great time at Cooking with the Kiddos in March! This class is a great time of family bonding, plus a free meal... what could be better? Join us next month.
Young Leaders Academy
Self-Advocates joined us for Young Leaders Academy twice in March. Every class involves a respite activity such as kickball or yoga, and then ends with an hour of employment-readiness curriculum. Self-Advocates are invited to join our class anytime. Consider joining us in April!
Tweens had a great time at March's Tween Club. We played games, made delicious treats like puppy chow, and had lots of fun playing the Wii! Many of our parents got to attend Parent's Night Out while their children had a night of fun. There will be no Tween Club in April due to Easter weekend, but join us in May!
Parent's Night Out
Parents hung out at Mad Dog Saloon for March's Parent's Night Out. As always, we had an amazing time. There will be no Parent's Night Out in April due to Easter weekend, but join us in May for a very special Comedy Sportz Parent's Night Out in partnership with the Greater Milwaukee DADS Group! Click here to purchase tickets.
We had an AMAZING time at Zumba in March. We have a volunteer Zumba instructor who makes the class fun for individuals of all ages and ability levels. Join us in April!
Family Movie Night
We had a blast watching Finding Dory together at our March Family Movie Night. We brought sleeping bags and snuggled in for this family-favorite. Join us in April for Toy Story!
Self-Advocates had a great time painting pottery with our friends from La Terraza at our March Club DSAW! Join us the last Saturday in April for our Club DSAW Mexican Fiesta.