Local event to raise money for down syndrome resources

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. - A local organization hosts only one fundraising event a year and for the last decade that one event has made a big difference in the lives of those with down syndrome and their families.

Families Exploring Down Syndrome (FEDS) will be hosting the 10th annual Thumbs Up for Down Syndrome Made in Michigan Walk.

“Our goal is to directly benefit our members by providing support and resources by increasing awareness and opportunities for individuals with DS. All monies go directly to making that goal come to life,” said event co-chair, Kadi Coe.

This year’s walk will take place at the Macomb Intermediate School District’s parking lot off Garfield Road in Clinton Township, will be emceed by Lauren Podell from WDIV Channel 4.

“We don’t charge dues and we don’t ask for money at any other point during the year, so we use this annual event to ensure we’re able to continue serving our members,” Coe said.

When: September 24th
10-11 am: Walk registration
11-11:30 am: Announcements, opening ceremonies
11:30 am: Fundraising walk

From noon to 2 p.m. there will games, bounce houses, face painting, princess and Star Wars character meet and greets, train rides, and a petting zoo for families.

The goal is to raise $40,000 to continue doing what FEDS does best – support its members with DS and their families.

The 25-year-old, all-volunteer organization works with the medical community to help ensure that expectant and new parents of children with Down syndrome receive the most up-to-date, unbiased information possible regarding Down syndrome. And via its Parent-to-Parent Connection program, seasoned parents in FEDS are matched with new and expectant parents to answer questions about Down syndrome.

Recently, 5 year old Benjamin Antonelli’s of Romeo, MI was selected out of thousands to appear in the bright lights of Broadway on Saturday, September 17, as part of the National Down Syndrome Society's (NDSS) annual Times Square Video presentation. 

The Times Square Video presentation kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. Benjamin’s family are members of FEDS and are proud their son can be a shining reminder to about the contributions and milestone people with Down syndrome can achieve.

Interested in walking and/or donating? Click here.

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