Tagged: down syndrome association effingham

100 Women Who Care Donate $3,500-plus to Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society(LDSS) recently received more than $3,500 from 100 Women Who Care of Savannah.

“This generous gift will directly support the 2019 Camp Buddy program,” said LDSSExecutive Director Kayla Johnson. “Each summer, Camp Buddy offers programs to prepare children for the upcoming school year with the goal of promoting information retention from the previous year.”

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

(RIGHT) Lois Modell, Executive Director of Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, on behalf of the 100 Women Who Care, presented the donation to (LEFT) LDSS Executive Director, Kayla Johnson. The 100 Women Who Care chose LDSS as the recipients of their quarterly gift, which will be used to help fund Camp Buddy 2019.

LDSSis a nonprofit that works to help people with Down syndrome and their families through a variety of efforts.

100 Women Who Care of Savannahincludes women from Savannah and the surrounding areas who are dedicated to making an immediate impact in the community. The group meets four times a year to select one local non-profit organization to receive funding for that quarter.

For more information about LDSS, visit LDSSGA.org. For more information for 100 Women Who Care of Savannah, visit https://facebook.com/100WomenWhoCareInSavannahGa/

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. LDSSencourages people to bring their children. LDSSis an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit LDSSGA.org. Find LDSSon Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Kayla Johnson
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912.436.3626
kjohnson@ldssga.org

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

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13th Annual Buddy Walk Hosted by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Returns with a Healthy Twist

13th Annual Buddy Walk Hosted by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Returns with a Healthy Twist on October 6

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society(LDSS) held their 13th annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Forsyth Park.

Individuals of all ages and abilities — and their pets — were invited, especially those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers.

LDSSofficials said they drew more than 5,000 people to this year’s walk to support individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

“We hold the Buddy Walk every year in October as part of National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Tom Kenkel, president of LDSS. “Our primary goal, however, is to make positive changes in local and national policies regarding Down syndrome. This event does a phenomenal job of helping us do just that.”

A new element this year was a focus on healthy lifestyles, Kenkel said.

According to research studies in the US Library of Medicine, children with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for obesity. This could be due in part to physiological expressions of Down syndrome but also to common environmental factors.

With that in mind, LDSS, with participation from Healthy Savannah, Coca Cola, NLAWS Produce and EmployAbility, provided more nutritious lunch options and additional health education during the event.

“We are taking small steps to eventually host the first Buddy Walk in the country that brings attention to healthy lifestyles as part of the event,” Kenkel said.

A festival followed the walk featured face painting, pumpkin painting, the BOO Boutique, bouncy houses, games, music, refreshments and the Border Pawtrol disc dog team.

Sponsors of the 2018 Buddy Walk include NLaws Produce, Joe Marchese Construction, Marlow Elementary School, Coca-Cola and Holton Plumbing.

For more information on the Buddy Walk, contact Candy Bogardus at 912-436-3626, buddywalk@ldssga.orgor visit 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. LDSSencourages people to bring their children. LDSSis an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Kayla Johnson
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-436-3626
kjohnson@ldssga.org
10701 Abercorn St., #60786
Savannah, GA 31420

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

13th Annual Buddy Walk Hosted by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Returns with a Healthy Twist on October 6

13th Annual Buddy Walk Hosted by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Returns with a Healthy Twist on October 6

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will host their 13th annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Forsyth Park.

Families of Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society under the arch during the Buddy Walk in Savannah

Families of Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society under the arch during the Buddy Walk in Savannah

Individuals of all ages and abilities — and their pets — are invited, especially those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers.

Last year’s event drew more than 5,000 people, and LDSS officials said they hope to attract even more to this year’s walk to support individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

“We hold the Buddy Walk every year in October as part of National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Tom Kenkel, president of LDSS. “Our primary goal, however, is to make positive changes in local and national policies regarding Down syndrome. This event does a phenomenal job of helping us do just that.”

A new element this year will be a focus on healthy lifestyles, Kenkel said.

According to research studies in the US Library of Medicine, children with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for obesity. This could be due in part to physiological expressions of Down syndrome but also to common environmental factors.

With that in mind, LDSS, with participation from Healthy Savannah, Coca Cola, NLAWS Produce and EmployAbility, will provide more nutritious lunch options and additional health education during the event.

“We are taking small steps to eventually host the first Buddy Walk in the country that brings attention to healthy lifestyles as part of the event,” Kenkel said.

A festival following the walk will feature face painting, pumpkin painting, the BOO Boutique, bouncy houses, games, music, refreshments and the Border Pawtrol disc dog team.

The walk begins at 10:00 a.m., and the festivities will conclude at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets for the walk will be $15 apiece or $50 for a family of four. Registration includes a T-shirt, lunch and admission to the family fun festival.

Sponsors of the 2018 Buddy Walk include NLaws Produce, Joe Marchese Construction, Marlow Elementary School, Coca-Cola and Holton Plumbing. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Information booths can be reserved for any organization that provides services for the differently abled community.

For more information on the Buddy Walk, contact Candy Bogardus at 912-436-3626, buddywalk@ldssga.org or visit www.ldssga.org to register online.

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/

CONTACT
Kayla Johnson
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-436-3626
kjohnson@ldssga.org
10701 Abercorn St., #60786
Savannah, GA 31420

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

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Hires New Executive Director

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Hires New Executive Director

(SAVANNAH, GA) Kayla Johnson, former service learning coordinator at Savannah Country Day School, has been hired as the first executive director of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society(LDSS).

Johnson, who has developed non-profits, implemented innovative programs and leveraged strategic community partnerships, also founded and was the former director of the Zoe Foundation, Inc.

Kayla Johnson, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Executive Director

Kayla Johnson, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Executive Director

As executive director of the LDSS, she will administer the growing organization’s activities and annual events, including the Buddy Walk, the Night of Champions awards banquet and Camp Buddy.

“When I learned that LDSSwas expanding and hiring an executive director, I was thrilled for the organization’s growth and honored to be considered for the position,” Johnsonsaid. “Working with such an impactful, local organization will be a dream.”

LDSShas grown from a group of four families who banded together in April 2006 with a shared experience of having a family member with Down syndrome to a society that has attracted thousands of parents, children, advocates, community volunteers and corporate supporters.

The LDSSboard conducted an extensive search to find someone to help grow the organization.

“We are blessed to have found someone who shares our vision for the future,” said Candy Bogardus, founding member, past president and current member of the LDSSboard. “There is an endless amount of continued good and education to come from LDSS, and Kaylahas the grace and strength to help us champion our goals of acceptance and inclusion.”

Johnson, a native of Baton Rouge, La., earned a bachelor of arts in communication from Louisiana Tech University and a master of arts in communication from the University of Arkansas. She and her husband, Clay, have three children.

“After spending the past year exploring New Jersey, we are delighted to return to our second home, Savannah,” Johnsonsaid. “Our homecoming is sweetened just knowing the wonderful crew of LDSSis welcoming us into their network of good. I am very thankful.”

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. LDSSencourages people to bring their children. LDSSis an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Kayla Johnson
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-436-3626
kjohnson@ldssga.org
10701 Abercorn St., #60786
Savannah, GA 31420

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

LDSS Announces Camp Buddy 2018 in Chatham, Effingham

LDSS Announces Camp Buddy 2018 in Chatham, Effingham

(CHATHAM AND EFFINGHAM COUNTIES) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will host its tenth annual Camp Buddy summer camps in Chatham and Effingham Counties later this month and in July.

Camp Buddy offers programs to prepare children for the upcoming school year with the goal of promoting information retention from the previous year. Special education teachers along with occupational, physical and speech therapists have worked to design a customized curriculum that meets this goal most effectively.

“Camp Buddy has helped many children to excel in new areas and become stronger students as they approach the upcoming year,” said Pam Hussey, Chatham Camp Buddy director. “We look forward to continuing and even bolstering that legacy with our tenth year.”

This year’s Chatham Camp Buddy, July 9 – 20, will have a Dr. Seuss theme designed to bring a whimsical twist to camp activities such as music, dance, arts and crafts as well as bike, trike and scooter-board riding.

Chatham County campers in high school will cook lunch for their parents, embark on a river trip with Bull River Cruises and have visits from special guests who will include a soccer coach, a karate teacher and a yoga instructor. They also will participate in community service projects such as food donations and will visit Harvesters, a community food network, to learn about volunteer opportunities.

Effingham Camp Buddy, June 18-22, will feature special guests such as Chef Nick Mueller, who will do a cooking segment, local artists such as Morgan Webb, who will do art projects, and karate master instructor Carson Fortner, who will do a training session with the kids. Other activities will include a special field trip, crafts, music, dancing, pet therapy and operating the camp store.

Information on CHATHAM Camp Buddy:
Dates: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 20.
Times: Middle and high school camps will be 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and elementary school camp will be 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Preschoolers will attend from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Coastal Middle School in Savannah, Ga.

For more information about Chatham Camp Buddy, contact Pam Hussey at (912) 220-6429 or pbjhussey@gmail.com.

Information on EFFINGHAM Camp Buddy:
Dates: Every day from Monday, June 18 through Friday, June 22.
Times: Camp for ages 3-9 will be 8:30-11:30 a.m., and camp for ages 10 and up will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Location: Blandford Elementary School in Rincon, Ga.

To learn more about Effingham Camp Buddy, contact Molly Marchese at (912) 213-9127 or mollymarchese@windstream.net

Camp Buddy is sponsored by the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and is made possible through the generosity of the community, friends and families of LDSS and events such as the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

Chatham Camp Buddy Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society 2017

Campers enjoy Chatham 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 http://www.ldssga.org/

CONTACT
Tom Kenkel
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-373-6377
tkenkel@ldssga.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

9th Annual Night of Champions Honors Differently-abled Working Adults and Their Employers

9th Annual Night of Champions Honors Differently-abled Working Adults and Their Employers

(SAVANNAH, GA) Six “Champions” and their employers were recognized at the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s ninth annual Night of Champions held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. This year’s theme was designated as “Legacy” to call on the community to design a legacy for the inclusion of differently-abled people.

Night of Champions recognized local businesses that hire and retain differently-abled people, including those with Down syndrome, and the contributions made by these employees who are designated as Champions.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Night of Champions 2018

Selected from among 15 nominees, six “Champions” and their employers were honored:

Jabari Tukes
Tukes, a greeter and custodian at Pooler Karate, is always on time and ready to give students a fist bump. Before students arrive, Tukes waters the plants, cleans the windows and helps with anything needed to prepare for the day before he takes his place to open the door for customers with his ever-present smile. Fellow employees have commented that it makes them feel cared about when Tukes asks them about their well-being. His positive presence also has provided insight into caring for children with different abilities who take lessons at the studio.

Herbert Hudson
Hudson is a kitchen assistant at Back in The Day Bakery, and his supervisor has nick-named him Herbie the Lovebug for the compassion he shows for his fellow employees as he works to keep the kitchen running smoothly.

Elissa Brown
Brown, a courtesy clerk at Kroger, is known for her integrity, respect and incredible diligence. She lives in her own apartment, maintains a healthy lifestyle and rides her tricycle to work. Brown stays busy swimming, bowling, weight-lifting and staying involved on Tybee Island through activities with The Coastal Mermaid & Pirate Club.

Marquis Smith
Smith is a utility and kitchen assistant at SCAD’s Byte Café, a branch of Bon Appetit Catering. He works to keep the café clean and well stocked, is known as one of its hardest workers and has impressed his supervisors with his willingness to take on new challenges. He helps train new employees and has come out of his shell, befriending not only co-workers but also SCAD students and staff.

Iyaona Weathers
Weathers is a file clerk who has done so well that Grainger Honda and Nissan have hired six more individuals with different abilities. Weathers is known as a day-brightener whose fellow employees enjoy the days she sings while she works.

Caroline Campbell
Campbell works in guest services at Zaxby’s in Beaufort, S.C., where she delivers orders, cleans the restaurant and greets customers, making every customer feel valued as she asks about their days. Campbell says her day is always perfect.

A special recognition called “Message in Motion,” awarded to employers who have attended Night of Champions in the past and were motivated by the event to hire differently-abled employees, was given to Carson Fortner of Pooler Karate for the opportunity he has given Jabari Tukes.

Night of Champions is an inspiring event for professional recognition of those individuals who exceed expectations while overcoming perceived barriers to employment. Attendees love returning every year, and our sponsors allow us to host Past Champions for free,” says Tom Kenkel, the 2018 Night of Champions co-chairman. “Roughly 800 guests attended this year thanks in part to a larger venue that accommodates the event’s growing popularity and attendance.”

Sara Hart Weir, the president and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), and Kandi Pickard, first vice president of NDSS, attended the event. Celebrity chef and author Jamie Deen served as the emcee alongside Allyson Harvin.

The 2018 Night of Champions was sponsored by Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Marchese Construction, Matson, and Coastal Electric of Georgia.

For more information, contact champions@ldssga.org or visit https://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/

CONTACT
Tom Kenkel
President, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
tkenkel@ldssga.org

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

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces 2018 Board of Directors

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces 2018 Board of Directors

(SAVANNAH, GA) Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce its 2018 board of directors.

Officers include Tom Kenkel (Kenkel Design), president; Dr. Ben Spitalnick (Pediatric Associates), vice president; Michael Holton, Jr. (self-advocate), secretary; Brian Hussey (BankSouth), treasurer; and Candy Bogardus (Grace Community Church), past president.

They are joined on the board by Jason Ambrose (Moore Industrial Supply), John Bogardus (Zimmer Biomet), Jamie Deen (chef and author), Joe Marchese (Marchese Construction), Harris Martin (Bouhan Falligant), Kristin Nyce (Volunteer), Traci Shreck (Kicklighter Resource Center) and Stephen Greene (South State Bank).

“We are gearing up for a year filled with fun, fellowship and growth within our group and in our community,” said Kenkel. “The organization is so blessed to have such amazing community support here at home.”

LDSS has grown from a group of four families who banded together in April 2006, with a shared experience of having a family member with Down syndrome, to a society that has attracted thousands of parents, children, advocates, community volunteers and corporate supporters. Annual events include the one-mile Buddy Walk, the Night of Champions gala dinner and Camp Buddy, held each summer to help children retain the educational milestones they achieved over the course of the past school year.

LDSS is also a community partner for the JOY prom, an event held annually to offer differently-abled adults a night of dancing, food, friendship, and fun.

The organization meets the fourth Tuesday of the month in the Benedictine Military School Media Center, 6502 Seawright Drive, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to any and all and includes childcare.

ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages the whole family to attend; children of all ages are welcome. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

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

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