Local Organizations Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

March 21, 2018 06:00 PM

(ABC 6 News) - March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and organizations throughout the area were helping people and families celebrate.
Smiling and clapping was heard throughout ABC Toy Zone in Rochester as Nicole Kunkel read a book about Down syndrome to kids and their parents. 
"People with Down syndrome are just like everybody else and they can work jobs and live independently," said Kunkel, the mother of a 3-year-old with Down Syndrome. 
Kunkel reached out to multiple local organizations and asked them to participate in the day.
Hy-Vee was one of those, celebrating with "Jeans for Genes."
"We invited our employees to donate five dollars and to wear jeans today on March 21st, so all of that money will go to the Down syndrome Diagnosis Network," said Kaitlin Anderson, Community Relations Coordinator for Hy-Vee in Rochester.
Clients and employees at Opportunity Services were also participating with crazy socks, all to honor those with an extra chromosome.
"We like to just support them in any way that we can," said Darci Meyer with Opportunity Services.
"Every day that I can come into work and see their happy faces makes that day even better for me," added Krista Uptagrafft with Opportunity Services.
"I like to think of Gillian's extra chromosome no different than other people having blue eyes or brown hair or just being a part of who you are, so that's the way I like to look at it how Gillian is and that's why today is extra important," adds Kunkel.

Other events happening around Rochester for World Down Syndrome Day:-


Ice Cream with Ava @ both Flapdoodles. Say you're there for "Ice Cream for Ava" & they'll donate the proceeds to Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota

Canvas and Chardonnay is doing a painting night on 3/21. $10 from every painter is being donated to Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network - DSDN. Painting starts at 6:30pm.

The Plummer Building will also be lit blue and yellow.


Marissa Collins

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