The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma will host its 24th annual Down Syndrome Festival & 5K at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Sept. 29. Joining the festival this year is Sara Weir, President and CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society.
“More than 700 individuals are living with Down syndrome in central Oklahoma,” said Sarah Soell, executive director of DSACO. “This event is not only our largest fundraiser, it is also meant to celebrate individuals with Down syndrome living within our community.”
This will be the annual awareness walk held in Oklahoma City to raise funds and promote DSACO’s mission to “raise awareness and provide resources, as well as promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome.” Weir from NDSS will be joining the event to kick off the 5K race and awareness walk.
As NDSS’ President, Weir oversees the organization’s mission, vision and administration, which is the largest nonprofit in the United States dedicated to advocating for people with Down syndrome and their families. Her philosophy to effective advocacy is “to be at the table” and she works each day to ensure people with Down syndrome earn and are represented at every table where critical decisions are made – whether it’s the White House, the U.S. Congress, the United Nations or in state capitals across the country.
The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. and the awareness walk (approximately four city blocks) will begin at 9:30 a.m. Gates to the ballpark will open and the festival fun begins at approximately 9:45 a.m. This year’s activities include a DJ, games, inflatables, an animal exhibit, craft area and entertainment for all ages. The event is expected to draw more than 6,000 people.
Registration for the 5K is $40/person and includes a t-shirt and medal for all finishers registered by Sept. 14. Participating in the awareness walk and entry into the festival are free and open to the public.
The Festival & 5K is the largest annual fundraiser for DSACO. Funds raised help the organization accomplish its goals through programs such as microwave-based cooking classes for teens and adults, a tutoring center, distribution of new parent packets, quarterly workshops, parent-to-parent support meetings and scholarships for families to attend national conferences and conventions.
To learn more about participating in the Down Syndrome Festival & 5K visit www.dsfestivaland5k.com. Parking the day of the event will be available free of charge at the Chevy Events Center located east of the ballpark. For information about the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma please visit www.dsaco.org, call (405) 600-9981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.