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Fundraiser aims to help those with Down syndrome in Alabama

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It’s Down Syndrome Awareness month. Hoover-based nonprofit Down Syndrome Alabama is hosting a fundraising walk in three different Alabama cities this weekend. The Step Up for Down Syndrome event is Sunday afternoon with locations in Opelika, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa.

The event is going to feature entertainment for adults and kids, food trucks, and a team-based competitive fundraising walk.

Kelly Peoples is the executive director of DSA. She said events like Step Up fund programs that help individuals with down syndrome and their families.

“We host workshops six times a year. This year we did nutrition, we did one on behavior, advocacy and inclusion. So, a lot of money goes to these wonderful workshops where we can hear from the experts and parents and caregivers a lot of information that they need,” she said.

She said fundraising events like these are the only way that DSA can function.

“We are not able to do many of the things we were able to do, of course because of COVID. If we don’t raise money on these events, we can’t function," she said. "We don’t receive any state or federal money. We are not a part of the United Way. We rely heavily on the generosity of our community to raise these funds.”

Money from fundraisers like Step Up goes towards care packages for new parents and informational workshops and seminars for parents of children with Down syndrome. DSA also operates the Jake Pratt Fund. That’s a scholarship that benefits individuals with Down syndrome who want to pursue post-secondary education.

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