Team Ebonee Was There!
Down Syndrome Event Draws Thousands
By Neil Earle
Memphis, TN: There are about 1500 people living with Down Syndrome here in Memphis and the Mid-South. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month so the stage was set for this great event.
I first learned about this through a vibrant member of our Memphis GCI group named Ebonee Clark who with her family is doing a lot to support the annual “STEPUP for Down Syndrome Walk” featuring the Memphis Tigers basketball team and a host of sponsoring organizations.
Team Ebonee actually placed third in fundraising for this event held at Christian Brothers University on October 21. It was a lot of fun and a chance to interact with the Clark family and their friends who showed up in support.
The Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South (DSAM) is a 501 c 3 organization doing a lot to empower individuals with Down Syndrome. They provide essential information and services such as Specialist Teacher Training and Support, Parent Education and Training, adult programs that promote independence and Job Support and a Key Tutoring Program for reading, among others. Vocational and Rehab skills are also stressed of course.
About 3500 of us showed up on a beautiful crisp fall day in the middle of Memphis including the mayor Jim Strickland and media personality Amy Speropoulos as emceee.
All that, plus free hot dogs and a soft drink.
Public Spirit on Display
“Memphis has true public spirit,” Mayor Strickland referenced. “This is one of many groups trying to lift people up in our community and that’s a lot of what Memphis is all about,” he told us. One of the DSAM mottos is “More Alike than Different” and that certainly was borne out in the midst of city-wide entertainers, happy picnickers, and children’s games with team and individual prizes.
Down Syndrome occurs once in every 733 births worldwide and is seen as a genetic chromosomal condition. It may be accompanied by other health issues. Here is where a loving and knowledgeable home environment and educational and recreational opportunities come into play and the Clark family from our Community of Faith congregation certainly embodies that.
Many if not most Down Syndrome children live normal and productive lives and if you want to help, the local Memphis number is 901-547-7588 or www.dsamemphis.org.
Well done everyone and onwards and upwards. What a great way to spend a Mid-South afternoon.