October is international Down syndrome awareness month. On Sunday, October 14, 2018, the Down syndrome community in Santa Cruz County gathered to celebrate people with Down syndrome’s to promote awareness and inclusion. The Santa Cruz Parents Love Connection held its Second Annual Walk for Down syndrome at Teyechea Park in Nogales Arizona from 12:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
The Santa Cruz Parent Love Connection celebrates during the month of October with a walk to spread awareness on Down syndrome awareness. During the month of October, the Parent Love Connection celebrates people with Down syndrome by making people aware of their capabilities and their accomplishments. “Our celebration is about recognizing our Down syndrome population in Santa Cruz County, it’s about celebrating abilities,” said Maria Scholnick, Program Director.
One in every 691 babies in the United States are born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome affects people of all races and economic levels. Today, individuals with Down syndrome are active participants in the educational, vocational, social and recreational aspects of our communities. Each year more teens and adults with Down syndrome are graduating from high school, going to college, finding meaningful employment and living independently.
Parents of children with Down syndrome showed up with their child’s team wearing beautiful costumes they made t-shirts with theme saying ” Down right awesome” Parents decorated the park in a beautiful bright yellow and blue color using ribbons, flowers and dozens of balloons. Hot dogs, chips, soda were provided to attendees for a small fee donation, kids ate free. Free water bottles were provided to all in attendance. The public enjoyed DJ Music, the Mariachi Plata played for half an hour.
Joan Molera was the Grand Marshal, the Parent Love Connection gave out 15 awards to community members who have made a difference for children with special needs. Among the people who were recognized and presented with an award were the Desert Shadow Middle School Principal Dr. Joan Molera, Desert Shadows Special Education Teacher Roberto Cruz, Former Mayor of Nogales AZ. Arturo Garino, Bibi Bolivar from City Parks & Recreation, Martin Garlant from Liberty Utilities, Assistant Superintendent for SCVUSD#35 Dr. Melisa, Special Education Teacher from Calabasas M.S Shweta Dubey, Ms. Cecilia Valenzuela and Silvia Mesina for their outstanding volunteer work.
The crowd walked around city hall. During the ceremony parents of children with down, syndrome shared their personal experience raising a child with Down syndrome. The SCPLC is a support and advocacy organization was founded in 2010 for families raising children with special needs living in Santa Cruz County. For more information or to become a volunteer please call 520-470-5833 or email Maria Scholnick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please like the SCPLC on Facebook, or leave them a message.