Category: special needs

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Holds Ninth Annual Camp Buddy in Effingham and Chatham Counties

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Holds Ninth Annual Camp Buddy in Effingham and Chatham Counties

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) held their ninth annual Camp Buddy summer camps in Effingham and Chatham Counties.

The camp curriculum was designed by occupational, physical, special education and speech therapists with the goal of helping the children retain the educational milestones they achieved over the course of the past school year.

“We strive to help the children in our program bridge the gap created over summer,” said Savannah Camp Buddy Director Pam Hussey. “They will be better equipped to begin the new school year with the skills they gained in the previous year fresh on their minds.”

The Effingham Camp Buddy was held over one week at the Rincon Elementary School, located at 501 Richland Avenue in Rincon, GA. Chatham Camp Buddy was held over a two-week period at Marshpoint Elementary School, located at 135 Whitemarsh Island Drive in Savannah, GA.

Camp Buddy is sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and is made possible through the generosity of the community, friends and family of LDSS and events such as the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions.

For more information about Effingham and Chatham Camp Buddy, contact campbuddy@ldssga.org. For more information about LDSS, visit https://www.ldssga.org/

Pictured left to right: Thomas Nyce, Darcy Davis and Whitley Divine build friendships at Chatham Camp Buddy

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Camp Buddy 2017

LDSS Camp Buddy 2017

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Camp Buddy 2017

LDSS Camp Buddy 2017

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Camp Buddy 2017

LDSS Camp Buddy 2017

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Camp Buddy 2017

LDSS Camp Buddy 2017

LDSS Camp Buddy 2017

Camp Buddy 2017

ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit https://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-728-8505
cbogardus@ldssga.org

MEDIA CONTACT 
Marjorie Young
CarriageTrade PR
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Holds Ninth Annual Camp Buddy in Effingham County in June and in July in Chatham County

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Holds Ninth Annual Camp Buddy in Effingham County in June and in July in Chatham County

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will host their ninth annual Camp Buddy summer camps in Effingham and Chatham Counties this summer.

Effingham Camp Buddy will take place from Monday, June 26, to Friday, June 30. Chatham Camp Buddy will take place from Monday, July 10 to Friday, July 21.

The camp curriculum is designed by occupational, physical, special education and speech therapists with the goal of helping children retain the educational milestones they achieved over the course of the past school year.

“We strive to help the children in our program bridge the gap created over summer,” said Savannah Camp Buddy Director Pam Hussey. “They will be better equipped to begin the new school year with the skills they gained in the previous year fresh on their minds.”

Details for EFFINGHAM Camp Buddy
Effingham Camp Buddy is held over one week:
Dates: Monday, June 26 through Friday, June 30
Time: 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. for kids ages 3-7 and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. for kids over the age of 7
Location: Rincon Elementary School, 501 Richland Avenue in Rincon, GA.

Details for CHATHAM Camp Buddy
Chatham Camp Buddy is held over a two week period on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s:
Dates: Week One: Monday, July 10; Wednesday, July 12; Friday, July 14
Week Two: Monday, July 17; Wednesday, July 19; Friday, July 21
Time: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for kids ages 3-5 and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. for ages 6-9
Location: Marshpoint Elementary School, 135 Whitemarsh Island Drive in Savannah, GA.

Camp Buddy is sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and is made possible through the generosity of the community, friends and family of LDSS and events such as the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions.

For more information about Effingham and Chatham Camp Buddy, contact campbuddy@ldssga.org. For more information about LDSS, visit https://www.ldssga.org/

ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit https://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-728-8505
cbogardus@ldssga.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
CarriageTrade PR
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

LDSS Night of Champions 2017 Recipients

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Honors 2017 Champions at Annual Gala

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) recognized five outstanding individuals and their employers during the organization’s eighth Annual Night of Champions gala, held Thursday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah.

The organization’s 2017 Champions are adult workers who demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment as employees and are recognized as integral team members at their places of work.

The awards went to:

“By living to their fullest potentials, the LDSS Champions are advocates for themselves and others with Down syndrome or other cognitive or developmental challenges, proving themselves truly able,” said the 2017 Night of Champions chairwoman, Allyson Harvin. “Each year, we recognize those Champions who, through their paid or unpaid work, bring about a greater public awareness and understanding of people with Down syndrome and all differently-abled adults.”

The President of LDSS, Candy Bogardus presented the President’s Award to Bonnie Rachael, founder and CEO of Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center. Located in Guyton, Georgia, Faith Equestrian began back in 2006 with the mission of, “We exist to improve the lives of individuals with different abilities through the power of the horse.” The center now has 12 horses, a donkey, and offers two primary programs, the Therapeutic Riding program and the EFL Program. For more information on the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, visit http://faithetc.org.

Over 600 Savannah area business leaders, employees and advocates attended the event. The National Down Syndrome Society’s Chief of Staff delivered welcoming remarks and Savannah’s own Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, served as master of ceremonies. Deen, who sits on the LDSS Board, is a strong advocate for hiring individuals with Down syndrome and other different abilities.

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 CHAMPIONS

NICHOLAS BROWN came to the Savannah International Airport in 2014 and worked in the airport terminal before he was offered a job as a groundskeeper. His supervisor, George Miller, says Brown demonstrates commitment, dedication, personal care and pride in his work. He also has been recognized by WTOC as a Community Champion.

MACKENZIE HANCOCK has worked for Polka Dots Gifts & Accessories for the past year. Hancock has several tasks that she does regularly but is always willing to try something new. Her manager, Jackie Pickering, says Hancock comes to work happily, has an enthusiastic personality and does whatever she is asked to do. Her coworkers say she is incredibly funny, caring, kind and loving and is personable with staff and customers.

GEORGE GATES has worked as a custodian with Goodwill Southeast Georgia for 15 years. He greets his co-workers with a smile, a sincere “hello” and his signature hug. His supervisor, Runella Black, says Gates comes to work early and never hesitates to work late if the facility is short-staffed. He impresses others with his work ethic, compassion, friendly personality and ability to work well under pressure. He demonstrates superlative customer service and enjoys speaking (and taking pictures) with the various dignitaries who tour the building. He also loves sharing his success story of how Goodwill has impacted his life.

DENNIS PICKETT has been employed as a warehouse team member with Fulfillment.com for eight months. His employment specialist, Alina Rickards, says Dennis volunteered in the cafeteria while he still was in school and expressed a desire to become part of the Fulfillment.com workforce. After completing a job assessment, Pickett joined the Fulfillment.com warehouse team.

BRENTON SCOTT has been on the team at Coastal Pet Rescue for a year. His supervisor, Jennifer Taylor, and the facility’s director, Lisa Scarborough say Scott’s family had spent several years trying to find a place where the young man could work on developing his independence. He first was teamed with a senior volunteer to work one day a week in the kennels to provide proper diets, perform all sanitary cleaning and make sure the dogs got daily exercise. After about four months, he started joining coworkers on weekends to attend adoption events to promote the dogs he cared for and to help them find new homes.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Night of Champions 2017

Jamie Deen, Jennifer Taylor, and Brenton Scott

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
cbogardus@ldssga.org
912-663-8573

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Junior Partner
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
www.carriagetradepr.com
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

Julie Wade Named Executive Director of Park Place Outreach

Attorney Julie Wade Selected as Executive Director of Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter

Savannah attorney and school board member Julie Wade has been named executive director of the Park Place Outreach — Youth Emergency Shelter, which provides support and temporary residential services for at-risk children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area.

Wade will succeed Linda Hilts, who’s retiring after 20 years, and will take office on May 8.

“I am honored to be selected for this position, and to build on the excellent programs Linda Hilts began and fostered over the past 20 years,” Wade said. “She became the voice of homeless and unaccompanied youth in our community, and I am eager to continue to work on their behalf.”

Park Place Outreach board chairman Todd Cellini praised Wade’s legal background and her experience in student and child advocacy.

“As a sitting board member of the Savannah-Chatham public school system, she has an extensive understanding of our largest population of at-risk children,” Cellini said. “Having served in various board positions for several non-profit organizations, she also has vast fundraising experience as well as expertise in grants compliance.”

Under Hilts’s leadership, Park Place Outreach helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more found stability through its non-residential programs. She developed many of the organization’s ongoing services, including the Street Outreach Program team, which offers peer mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to older youth, up to age 21, who are in need but might not wish to come to the shelter.

“My goal over the next few weeks is to meet with the board members and staff, along with community members and supporters,” Wade said. “By helping to ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will be able to focus from day one on continuing to provide a safe and loving environment to the youth who come to Park Place Outreach for assistance.”

Julie Wade Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Savannah

Julie Wade

Wade, a native of Atlanta, attended Georgia public schools from kindergarten until college. She attended the University of Georgia and then the University of Georgia School of Law. Currently, she is a lawyer at The Wade Law Firm in Savannah, with a focus on federal criminal defense and civil litigation. Additionally, Wade serves on the Board of Education for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, a position she has held since 2011. Wade will continue her service on the Board of Education as she assumes this new position with Park Place Outreach.

Previously, she served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Georgia from 2007 to 2008 as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, prosecuting violations of federal law, including child exploitation, firearms, narcotics, fraud, and immigration.

She is chair of the board of directors for Girls on the Run and chairwoman of United Way Women’s Legacy Council. She also serves on the boards of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham Foundation.

Wade is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia. She has been honored by the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 and as a Next Generation Rising Star by Savannah Magazine and Business in Savannah. She recently received the Coastal Center for Developmental Services’ Vicki Loughrey Volunteer Advocacy Award as well as the John B. Miller Service Award from the Savannah Bar Association.

She and her husband have three children who attend public school.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come into the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, Park Place Outreach has helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more find stability through its non-residential programs. Park Place Outreach is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information, visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
http://www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

NDSS Chief of Staff to Deliver Opening Remarks at LDSS Night of Champions

NDSS Chief of Staff to Deliver Opening Remarks at LDSS Night of Champions

Kandi Pickard Celebrates Savannah’s 2017 Champions, and TV personality Jamie Deen Returns as Master of Ceremonies at 8th Annual Gala.

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce the Chief of Staff of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) will provide opening remarks and welcome all of the honorees during the eighth annual Night of Champions gala on Thursday, May 11.

The event celebrates differently-abled adults who are employed, contributing members of our community.

Kandi Pickard, Chief of Staff of NDSS, the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome, explained how she got involved with the organization after one of her children was born with Down syndrome.

Kandi from NDSS speaks to Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society in Savannah

Pickard said, “I feel proud to be part of this passionate community as we fight for the rights of all individuals with Down syndrome. The Night of Champions event is a shining example of a local chapter at work to create positive change for inclusion in their community, and I’m so excited to be a part of it this year.”

“We’re so very honored to have Kandi Pickard represent the national organization this year at the gala,” said Candy Bogardus, president of the Lowcountry group. “I think it speaks volumes that she is able to come out to our signature event to support the work we are doing right here in the greater Savannah area.”

Savannah’s own Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, will return as emcee for this year’s Night of Champions. Deen, who sits on the local society’s board, is a strong advocate for hiring those with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

“It is my honor to be a champion of change by helping business leaders in our community recognize how much these wonderful, differently-abled folks are just like you and me,” Deen said. “They are upbeat, dedicated, excellent employees, and I’m pleased I can help highlight their successes as the Night of Champions emcee. I look forward to once again sharing an incredible evening with my LDSS friends and supporters.”

By recognizing the employees and their employers to a full room of 600-plus business leaders, professionals and advocates, the event encourages business owners to hire from a talent pool that is ready to contribute.

The eighth annual Night of Champions gala will get underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah. Tickets are available at https://nightofchampions.org/

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
cbogardus@ldssga.org
912-663-8573

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Junior Partner
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

LDSS announces Stratton Leopold as Grand Marshal for 11th Annual Savannah Buddy Walk

LDSS announces Stratton Leopold as Grand Marshal for 11th Annual Savannah Buddy Walk

(SAVANNAH, GA) Film producer and ice cream shop owner, Stratton Leopold has been named as the Grand Marshal for the 11th annual Savannah Buddy Walk hosted by Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society. Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s event to raise awareness and funds for local programs, including Camp Buddy and Night of Champions.

“I am honored to be selected as the Grand Marshal to lead the one-mile march this year for the Savannah Buddy Walk,” said Leopold. “I grew up in this city and am eager to help raise awareness for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, an organization dedicated to providing help and support to people with Down syndrome and their families.”

In his film career, Leopold is noted for producing several movies including, “The Sum of All Fears,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “The General’s Daughter” and the remake of “The Wolfman.” Leopold is also well known for his local ice cream shop, Leopold’s Ice Cream, on E Broughton Street.

The Buddy Walk will begin on Saturday, October 1 at 10 a.m. in Forsyth Park. The event is open to all ages and abilities; LDSS encourages those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers to attend. Participants may also bring their pets as well.

Immediately following the walk, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society will hold a family-fun festival in the park until 2 p.m. Activities will include face painting, pumpkin painting, princess and pirate booths, bounce houses, games, music and refreshments. There will also be special performances from the Imani Milele Choir, an energetic group of orphans visiting from Uganda, Africa.

The Buddy Walk takes place in October in honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The goals of this annual event are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome while influencing national and local policy and practice.

For more information, contact John or Candy Bogardus at 912-728-8505, jcbogardus@gmail.com or visit http://www.ldssga.org

stratton

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education, and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
jcbogardus@gmail.com
912-728-8505

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 1

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 1

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will hold their 11th annual Buddy Walk in Forsyth Park on Saturday, October 1 at 10 a.m. The event is open to all ages and abilities; LDSS encourages those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers to attend. Pets are welcome too.

Last year’s event welcomed over 5,000 participants. This year, LDSS is hoping to have even more community members come out to raise awareness and support local programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.

Participants can sign up for early registration online at http://ldssga.org/register. Registration will also be accepted the day of the event. The cost to attend is $15.00 per person or $50.00 for a family of four. In addition to participating in the walk, registration includes a T-shirt, lunch and admission to the family-fun festival.

“The walk takes place in October as our way of celebrating National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Candy Bogardus, President of LDSS. “The goals of this annual event are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice.”

Proceeds from Savannah’s Buddy Walk help sponsor events such as the Night of Champions, Camp Buddy and many other services.

Immediately following the walk, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society will hold a family-fun festival in the park until 2 p.m. Activities will include face painting, pumpkin painting, princess and pirate booths, bounce houses, games, music and refreshments.

For more information, contact John or Candy Bogardus at 912-728-8505, jcbogardus@gmail.com or visit http://www.ldssga.org

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education, and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every 4th Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

Buddy Walk Bogardus Family

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
jcbogardus@gmail.com
912-728-8505

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075