Tagged: down syndrome awareness

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

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

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces 8th Annual Night of Champions to be Held May 11

(SAVANNAH, GA) The 8th annual Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) Night of Champions gala dinner will be held on Thursday, May 11 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah.

The celebration highlights exceptional contributions made by differently-abled people, including those with Down syndrome, in their respective workplaces.

By recognizing these 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.

SEEKING NOMINATIONS:
To nominate an employee who has different-abilities, please visit https://nightofchampions.org/nominations/.

Champions may be anyone 18 years or older with Down syndrome, or other intellectual special needs who, through their work, paid or unpaid, brings about a greater public awareness and understanding of people with Down syndrome and other differently abled adults. By living to his or her fullest potential, this person is an advocate for themselves and others, proving themselves truly able.

SEEKING SPONSORSHIPS AND SILENT AUCTION ITEMS:
The Lowcounty Down Syndrome Society is asking the community to please consider submitting silent auction item that can be sold at the gala. Sponsorship packages range from $200 to $5,000.

For information on sponsorships, contact Tom Kenkel at tom@kenkeldesign.com or (912) 373-6377. For more information on the event, visit 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 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/. 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
http://www.carriagetradepr.com 
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces 2017 Board of Directors

(SAVANNAH, GA) Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is pleased to announce Candy Bogardus will serve a second year as President of the LDSS. Bogardus, a founding member of the LDSS, has been a member of the board since its inception in 2006.

The 2017 Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society officers consist of: Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Vice President; Traci Shreck, Secretary; Brian Hussey, Treasurer, and Joe Marchese, Past President. They are joined on the board by Michael Holton, Jr., Jason Ambrose, Tom Kenkel, Wendy Fears, Jamie Deen, Harris Martin, Kristin Nyce and John Bogardus.

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. LDSS is also a community partner for the JOY prom.

LDSS 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 child care.

For more information, contact Candy Bogardus at cbogardus@ldssga.org or Brian Hussey at bhussey@ldssga.org.

2017 LDSS Board Members.jpg

Caption: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Jason Ambrose, Brian Hussey, Michael Holton, Jr., Tom Kenkel, Kristin Nyce, Joe Marchese, Candy Bogardus and John Bogardus. Not pictured: Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Wendy Fears, Traci Shreck, Jamie Deen and Harris Martin.

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 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

Brian Hussey
bhussey@ldssga.org
http://www.ldssga.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
(912) 856-9075
http://www.carriagetradepr.com
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Receives $2,300 Donation

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Receives $2,300 Donation

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) recently received a $2,300 donation from Schneider Logistics in support of the nonprofit organization’s program and educational endeavors. LDSS is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through a variety of efforts.

“We are very grateful for this generous gift from Schneider Logistics,” said Candy Bogardus, LDSS President. “Having public support, means so much to our organization. These type of unsolicited donations go directly to supporting individuals with Down syndrome and their families in our area.”

Schneider Logistics, located at 250 Grange Road in Port Wentworth, provides a variety of logistics services. For over 80 years, the company has provided truckload services, supply chain management, port logistics, regional services, and much more.

Gifts to LDSS are tax deductible. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/.

lowcountry-down-syndrome-society-presented-donation-by-schneider

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/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society
912-728-8505
jcbogardus@gmail.com

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

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society hosted 11th Annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 1

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society hosted 11th Annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 1

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) held their 11th annual Buddy Walk in Forsyth Park. The event was open to all ages and abilities; LDSS encouraged those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers to attend. Pets were welcome too.

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

The cost to attend was $15.00 per person or $50.00 for a family of four. In addition to participating in the walk, registration included 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 held a family-fun festival in the park. Activities included 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/

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

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

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