The Global Down Syndrome Foundation announced the results of their annual fundraiser, the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, held in October at the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center. With over 1,100 attendees, the Foundation raised $1.4 million and netted over $1 million that will go to groundbreaking research and medical care at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
The funds will also help underwrite life-changing programs including the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Dance Class, the Ed McCaffrey Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camps, the Denver Adult Down Syndrome life-skills classes, the Denver Zoo Internship program and the Dare to Play Soccer Camp.
People magazine, in their November 14, 2011 issue highlighted the fundraiser and its Ambassador, DeOndra Dixon. DeOndra is the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s 2011 Ambassador and a past recipient of the Foundation’s Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. Her family, including big brother, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, was on-hand to support her and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s work.
Music Icon and Crnic Institute Spokesperson, Quincy Jones, was on hand to present the 2011 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awards to award-winning actor, John C. McGinley, and accomplished musician and self-advocate, Sujeet Desai.
“The 25 runway models who happen to have Down syndrome really stole the show,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, the executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “And then to have it culminate in a dance battle between DeOndra Dixon and her brother Jamie Foxx was really the icing on the cake.”
Celebrities, including supermodel Beverly Johnson, Real Housewife of Orange County Peggy Tanous, NY Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups, Superbowl Champion Ed McCaffrey, Pro Golfer David Duval, and Colorado Rapids forward Connor Casey, escorted the runway models, enjoyed the Brunello Cucinelli and Andrisen Morton fashion show, and voiced support of more research and medical care funding for people with Down syndrome.
Notable Coloradans in attendance included Governor John Hickenlooper, Anna & John J. Sie, Leslie & Bill Vollbracht, Sharon Magness Blake & Ernie Blake, Mike & Amber Fries, Peter & Bonnie Kudla, Laura Barton & William Matthews, Donald & Susan Sturm, Bob & Betsy Leighton, Jack & Pat McDonnell, Debbi & Lee Alpert, Cookie Gold, Susan & Randy Karsh, Shereen & Michael Pollak, Ed & Linda McCabe, Craig & Christy Andrisen, Dave & Eileen Morton, Chauncey & Piper Billups, Susie & David Duval, Jim & Cheli Kellogg, Brandon & Jackie Perry, Casey & Brett Perry, Alison and Kirby Winfield, and Tomago Collins.
Down syndrome is the most frequent chromosomal disorder in the United States accounting for 1 in 691 live births. There are an estimated 400,000 people in the US and millions worldwide with the condition. Despite the frequency, it is the least funded genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health. In 2010 Down syndrome accounted for just 0.0007 of its $30 billion budget.
About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, the Foundation’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the US committed to research and medical care for people with the condition. Fundraising and government advocacy that corrects the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major short-term goal. The Foundation organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show – the single largest annual fundraiser benefitting people with Down syndrome. Programmatically the Foundation organizes and funds many programs and conferences including the Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camps, Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and Global Down Syndrome Multi-Language Resource Project. The Foundation is an inclusive organization without political or religious affiliation or intention.
About the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome
The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome is the first medical and research institute with the mission to provide the best clinical care to people with Down syndrome, and to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with the condition. Established in 2008, the Crnic Institute is a partnership between the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Headquartered on the Anschutz Medical Campus, the Crnic Institute includes the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at the Children’s Hospital Colorado. It partners both locally and globally to provide life-changing research and medical care for individuals with Down syndrome. The Crnic Institute is made possible by the generous support of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, and relies on the Global Down Syndrome Foundation for fundraising, education, awareness and government advocacy. It is a research and medical-based organization without political or religious affiliation or intention.