Tagged: down syndrome volunteer

Join the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society in Wearing Mismatched Socks for World Down Syndrome Day and St. Patrick’s Day

Join the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society in Wearing Mismatched Socks for World Down Syndrome Day and St. Patrick’s Day

By Joe Marchese

My daughter, Ella, loves to celebrate. She considers everyone a friend and I don’t think I’ve ever met a better dancer. In addition to her outgoing and loving personality, she also has an extra copy of her 21st chromosome pair (TRISOMY 21. 3-21), more commonly known as Down Syndrome.

Some may consider Ella to have a disability. At the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS), we see her as having different abilities and realize that all people are uniquely created and bring different contributions to the world.
Wednesday, March 21st (3/21) is World Down Syndrome Day. As part of that day, I would like to personally invite you to join us in celebrating the fact that “We are all different…that’s what makes us the same.”

On Saturday, March 17th, our beautiful hostess city, Savannah, will be focused on St. Patricks Day. The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society will once again have a float in the parade and we will all be wearing mismatched socks to show that being different is a good thing and to make people aware of the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day.

Please help us to celebrate by:

• Wearing mismatched socks on March 17th and on March 21st and explain to anyone who notices that we appreciate and celebrate differently abled individuals and how their differences make the world a better place.

• Posting a picture of your socks to your facebook page. Tag the photo using #LDSS, #differentabilities, #WorldDownSyndromeDay.

• Challenging two friends to join in the fun.

These simple, small steps can change our community and the world!

We rely on individual donations from people just like you to support the events we hold through the year, such as the Night of Champions, where we honor employers and their employees with different abilities, and the Buddy Walk, that raises awareness of the unlimited potential of all people. In recognition of World Down Syndrome day, we are also collecting $2.00 donations, one for each mismatched sock, or any other amount at www.ldssga.org.

For those of you unfamiliar with what we do. The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society is a support group to benefit local people with Down Syndrome and their families through leadership in support, outreach, education and advocacy. We envision a world in which all people with different abilities have the opportunity to create their own path in order to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of a welcoming community.

As I always say, I hope that Savannah will become known as the “most inclusive city in the United States.” Maybe a pair of mismatched socks can help spread that message. I hope you ‘ll join me.

Please stop me and say hello on St. Patricks Day; I’ll be the guy wearing the striped and polka dot socks. So roll up your pant legs and join in the fun.

Joe Marchese Low Country Down Syndrome Society

Joe Marchese of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Joe Marchese
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society board member 
Proud parent of Katie, Ella and Lucy
Jmarchese@ldssga.org
Cell: 912-213-9999
http://www.ldssga.org

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LDSS Calls for Nominations for the 9th Annual Night of Champions

LDSS Calls for Nominations for the 9th Annual Night of Champions

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is requesting nominations for its 9th Annual Night of Champions to be held this May. The event seeks to recognize Savannah area employees who are differently-abled and excel in their workplace, with an additional acknowledgment of the employers who have given them the opportunity to work.

“Night of Champions celebrates employees and their employers whose dedication and leadership shines a light on the possibilities and benefits of inclusive communities and workspaces,” said Night of Champions Chairperson, Tom Kenkel.

Employee nominations can be submitted online at nightofchampions.org until Friday, April 13.

The selected employees and their employers will be invited as special guests to the Night of Champions dinner, which will take place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Thursday, May 10, at 6 p.m.

In addition to dinner, the evening will include a recognition ceremony, a silent auction and a cash bar, with Jamie Deen and Allyson Harvin serving as the night’s emcees. Business professional attire is requested.

Individual tickets are $50, and tables of ten can be reserved for 
$500 at nightofchampions.org.

Jamie Deen will co-emcee Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society's 9th annual Night of Champions

Jamie Deen will co-emcee Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s 9th annual Night of Champions

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 ldssga.org

CONTACT
Tom Kenkel
tkenkel@ldssga.org
912-373-6377

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

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center Select Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s Joe Marchese and WSAV’s Ariella Scalese as Emcees for the 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala on Feb. 9

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center Select Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s Joe Marchese and WSAV’s Ariella Scalese as Emcees for the 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala on Feb. 9

(SAVANNAH, GA) Joe Marchese, immediate past president of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) in Savannah, and Ariella Scalese, forecaster for the WSAV Storm Team 3, have been chosen as the emcees for the Hearts for Healing Gala to benefit Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center. The second annual event will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel.

Faith Equestrian is a non-profit organization founded to improve the quality of life for children with special needs through therapeutic interaction with horses at the center.

Joe Marchese

Joe Marchese

Marchese, who has years of experience in the differently abled community, will help guide the night’s activities, which include dinner, dancing, a silent auction and live music from the John Brackett Quartet.

“I am humbled and honored to be presented with this opportunity,” said Marchese. “As a founding board member of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, and as a parent of a child with Down Syndrome I have been exposed to the emotional and cognitive challenges faced by children with different abilities and I love what a difference that Faith Equestrian makes in their lives.”

Ariella Scalese

Ariella Scalese

Scalese graduated from Lehigh University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science and minored in Mass Communication before coming to Savannah to continue her career in broadcasting. Scalese volunteers for a number of organizations including Faith Equestrian.

“Since moving here in 2016, I made it a goal to find local organizations that I’m passionate about and donating my time to them,” said Scalese. “Faith Equestrian has given me so much more than I could ever give to it, and I’m honored to be named an emcee for their annual gala.”

Faith Equestrian serves children with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Interaction with the horses allows the students to build strength, develop coordination skills and gain confidence in an outdoor and supportive setting.

Gala Logo

2018 Hearts for Healing Gala

The gala is the center’s largest fundraiser of the year and helps cover the costs for children to participate in the Faith Equestrian program.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction; the reception will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $150 and may be purchased at http://www.faithetc.org/hearts-for-healing-gala/.

The 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala is sponsored by Savannah Special Events by Ranco, First City Events, Low Country Paper Co., Whitemarsh Beverage, J Thomas Catering, Savannah’s Hall of Cakes, South Magazine and Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

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

ABOUT FAITH EQUESTRIAN THERAPEUTIC CENTER
Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, 243 Appaloosa Way in Guyton, GA. 31312, exists to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through the power of the horse. The program serves children ages 4 to 18 with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. The center offers therapeutic riding courses and an equestrian program in partnership with local schools. For more information, visit https://faithetc.org

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

Five Ways to Make Holidays Happier for Children with Different Abilities

Five Ways to Make Holidays Happier for Children with Different Abilities

By Dr. Ben Spitalnick, Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, Board of Directors

Every parent wants the holiday season to be a special, joyous time for their child, and parents of children with different abilities or special needs usually have to take a couple of extra steps to ensure the holidays are just that.

To help along the way, the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society offers five tips to help make the holiday season run smoothly and keep your kids happy.

1. Prepare Your Child
Your child wants to know the plans for the holiday season as much as you do. To reduce stress and prepare your child for upcoming activities, explain what you’ll be doing, who will be there and what the schedule is for the day. Write down the schedule for them and include pictures.

2. Prepare Your Family
Remind your family of the needs of your child. If there are other little ones, ask their parents to talk to them about your child’s differences. This can help reduce confusion and will foster a sense of understanding. It might help, a few days before everyone gets together, to send family members an informational email with 10 things to know about your child.

3. Bring Familiar Toys
The holidays are a chaotic time. Familiarity will help your child remain calm and feel comfortable. Bring his or her favorite toy, book or something that soothes your child at home. When things get a little too crazy, that may help your child feel comfortable.

4. Ask For Help
Don’t feel guilty for asking for help. Every parent needs help, and you do too. Explain the needs of your child to another family member or two and ask them to step in when you need a break. Explain to your child, too, that this person will be playing with them or watching them for a few minutes while you are busy.

5. Let Your Child Help
Preparing for the holidays can be stressful, but if you let your child help, you can create family traditions and keep everyone a little happier. Give your child a task such as greeting everyone at the door or stirring the sauce. This will keep your child focused, reduce his or her stress levels and give you an extra hand.

To create a happier time of celebration, we encourage all parents of children with different abilities to prepare their little ones a bit extra this holiday season. These small proactive measures can do a lot to help your child adjust to large crowds, new situations and days off-schedule. We hope this will make your holiday season a little jollier.

Dr. Ben Spitalnick is managing partner of Pediatric Associates of Savannah and currently serves as Representative for the Savannah area to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Spitalnick is from North Atlanta and is a graduate of the University of Georgia, received his medical degree from MCG, and did his Pediatric Residency at Memorial Health University here in Savannah. He serves on the board of directors for the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society.

LDSS

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Held 12th Annual Buddy Walk

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Held 12th Annual Buddy Walk
National Down Syndrome Society President Honored as Grand Marshal

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) held their 12th 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.

This year’s event welcomed thousands of participants raising awareness and support local programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families. The president and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, Sara Hart Weir, made a special visit to Savannah for the event and served as the Grand Marshal.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk in Savannah

(LEFT TO RIGHT) John Bogardus, LDSS Board Member; Micah Allen, Performer; Candy Bogardus, LDSS President; Sara Hart Weir, National Down Syndrome Society President and CEO; Fr. Jason Adams, St. James the Less Catholic Church; and Brian Hussey, LDSS Board Member.

Immediately following the walk, there was a family-fun festival with activities such as face painting, pumpkin painting, princess and pirate booths, bounce houses, games, music and refreshments.

“October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Candy Bogardus, President of LDSS. “Each year we celebrate by promoting acceptance and inclusion. Our mission with this walk is to positively influence local and national policies and practices towards people with Down syndrome.”

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

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.

For more information, contact John or Candy Bogardus at 912-728-8505, jcbogardus@gmail.com or visit 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

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 7

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Announces Annual Buddy Walk To Be Held On October 7

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will hold their 12th annual Buddy Walk in Forsyth Park. The event is open to all ages and abilities; LDSS encourages those in wheelchairs, carriages and strollers to attend. Pets are welcome too.

LDSS

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

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

Tickets for the walk will be $15.00 per person or $50.00 for a family of four. Registration includes a T-shirt, lunch and admission to the family-fun festival.

The family-fun festival will take place in the park immediately following the walk. Participants can expect activities such as face painting, pumpkin painting, princess and pirate booths, bounce houses, games, music and refreshments.

“October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month,” said Candy Bogardus, President of LDSS. “Each year we celebrate by promoting acceptance and inclusion. Our mission with this walk is to positively influence local and national policies and practices towards people with Down syndrome.”

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

For more information, contact John or Candy Bogardus at 912-728-8505, jcbogardus@gmail.com or visit www.ldssga.org to register online.

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

Joe Marchese of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society to Present at Chamber

Joe Marchese of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society to Present at Chamber

Joe Marchese to Present on Integrating Workers with Different Abilities at Savannah Chamber of Commerce September ‘Power Hour’

(SAVANNAH, GA) Joe Marchese, of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS), will be the keynote speaker for ‘Power Hour,’ presented by the Savannah Area Chamber’s Small Business Council on Tuesday, Sept. 12. His presentation will highlight the “Top Ten Ways to Contract and Utilize Workers with Different Abilities.”

Marchese, who is a past president and one of the founding members of LDSS, owns Marchese Construction and has more than eighteen years experience in the construction industry. He is also an accredited professional through the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program.

Marchese’s professional experience, in combination with his involvement with LDSS, has given him a unique perspective on hiring and working with people of different abilities.

“People with different abilities can bring diversity, a fresh perspective and growth to any community,” said Marchese. “I am excited to have the opportunity to communicate this important message to Savannah’s leaders and business influencers.”

LDSS strives to create a community that accepts and includes all of its members, including people with Down Syndrome and their families. Its activism extends from the Camp Buddy summer program for children with different abilities to the Buddy Walk and Night of Champions.

Savannah’s Small Business Council hosts the Savannah Area Chamber Power Hour each month, offering an opportunity for guest speakers to present topics relevant to small business owners and employees. For more information on the Chamber Power Hour, visit: http://www.savannahchamber.com

This month’s Chamber Power Hour will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Savannah Morning News Auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway. The meeting will include a lunch catered by Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant & Catering. Chamber members and guests can RSVP by emailing Stephanie Painter at spainter@savannahchamber.com.

Joe Marchese Low Country Down Syndrome Society

Joe Marchese of the Low Country Down Syndrome Society

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