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Down Syndrome Support

On September 27, 2008, Down Syndrome Support Association of Southern Indiana (“DSSASI”) will have its 2nd Annual Silent Auction in conjunction with our 9th Annual Buddy Walk at the Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany, Indiana. This is one of DSSASI’s most important events of the year! More than 1,200 people from all over southern Indiana and Louisville will walk approximately one mile to promote awareness for all people with Down syndrome. We hope you will join in our celebration and support our important efforts.

The Buddy Walk is a short walk in which anyone can participate without special training. The Buddy Walk was started by the National Down Syndrome Society in New York City and has grown from 17 walks throughout the country in 1995 to over 260 walks in 2007. The goal of the Buddy Walk is to promote understanding and acceptance of people with Down syndrome.

We are excited to announce that Chris Burke will be the keynote speaker for the 2008 Buddy Walk. You might remember Chris as “Corky” from the television show “Life Goes On” that aired on ABC from 1989 to 1993. He currently tours throughout the U.S. and Canada with Joe and John DeMasi delighting audiences with their inspiring, uplifting and entertaining music. “Believe in yourself, work hard and never give up”, says Chris. “We’ve all got disabilities. It’s what we do with our ABILITIES that counts!”

There will be live entertainment, entertainment for the kids and refreshments for all walkers.

Pre-register at our web www.dssasi.org and ensure your children have a goody bag filled with games, free meal coupons, and other goodies along with a 2008 Buddy Walk shirt!

Our 2nd Annual Silent Auction will have autographed sports memorabilia from many area colleges and professional teams – an autographed football from Coach Tony Dungy, a framed autographed photo from Peyton Manning, an autographed football from Boomer Esiason, autographed footballs from UofL Coach Steve Kragthorpe and Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis, autographed basketballs from IU Coach Tom Crean, UK Coach Billy Gillispie, UofL Coach Rick Pitino; autographed racing items from 9 time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel, items from Kevin Harvick Racing; autographed items from Sheryl Crow, and more than 100 themed gift baskets!

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in approximately one in every 800 to 1,000 live births. It affects people of all ages, races and economic levels and is the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormalities. It occurs when there are three, rather than two, number 21 chromosomes present in every cell of the body. Instead of the usual 46 chromosomes, a person with Down syndrome has 47. It is this additional genetic material that alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome. Down syndrome affects over 350,000 people in the United States alone. Recent advances in our understanding of Down syndrome have resulted in dramatic improvements in the life span and potential of those who are affected. Today, our challenge is to increase understanding of Down syndrome and the true potential of those who have it and to advocate for full inclusion for people with Down syndrome.


DSSASI serves families, professionals and other concerned individuals from Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Orange, Perry, Scott and Washington counties in southern Indiana. We currently assist over 100 families in southern Indiana. Our purpose is to improve the quality of life for persons with Down syndrome by providing information and support to parents and increasing public understanding of Down syndrome through education, public awareness, and advocacy.

DSSASI provides:

• Monthly support and educational meetings addressing a variety of topics related to Down syndrome

• Provide trained volunteers offering information and assistance to new parents of infants recently diagnosed with Down syndrome.

• Develop “New Parent Packets” and “Staff Packets” in collaboration with Down Syndrome of Louisville, Inc. providing parents and medical professionals with up-to-date information about Down syndrome.

• Public awareness activities which include sponsoring a Buddy Walk and distributing posters, bookmarks, and brochures about Down syndrome to local schools and businesses during October (National Down Syndrome Awareness Month).

• Bi-monthly newsletters to members and service agencies providing helpful hints, information about upcoming education opportunities and fun events, and personal achievement information about local individuals with Down syndrome.

Jim Titus
September 17, 2008

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