Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show Raises Over $1.6 Million, Honors Kyra Phillips and Tim Harris with Quincy Jones Award
John C. McGinley, Beverly Johnson, Todd Park Mohr Star at Benefit for Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome
DENVER (Oct. 1, 2013) – Over $1.6 million was raised at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel benefiting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, including the Sie Center for Down Syndrome. The gala was sold out, with 1,100 people in attendance.
This year, the annual event honored HLN anchor Kyra Phillips and entrepreneur and restaurant owner Tim Harris with the 2013 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awards. Award-winning actor John C. McGinley, the organization’s International Spokesman, presented the award to Phillips, while Jamie Foxx’s sister and inaugural recipient DeOndra Dixon presented the award to Harris.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, this year’s event featured the foundation’s past five ambassadors: 7-year-old Samantha Marcia Stevens of Massachusetts, 29-year-old Dixon of California, 4-year-old Katherine Vollbracht Winfield of Washington state, 7-year-old Chase Turner Perry of Colorado, and 10-year-old Sophia Kay Whitten of Colorado. They were escorted down the fashion show runway by their family and friends and major supporters of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
“The idea for honoring our past ambassadors came from our wonderful Event Chair, Ricki Rest, who is Ambassador Chase Turner Perry’s grandmother. Each of our 20 models with Down syndrome was beautiful and inspirational on that runway. And the community here is 200 percent behind our children and adults, advocating for equality and of course directly contributing funds to underwrite life-changing research and medical care,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
Celebrity escorts included McGinley, Phillips, supermodel Beverly Johnson, NFL Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson, Fox News anchor John Roberts, singer-songwriter Todd Park Mohr, Denver Nuggets players Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson, Miss Colorado Meg Kardos and Denver Broncos cheerleaders.
Mohr, of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, closed out the evening with an intimate concert.
The event’s live auction raised over $175,000, with such exclusive offerings as Hyde Park Jewelers’ Kentucky Derby VIP package, a trip to the 2014 Super Bowl, and vacations in Italy.
The money raised at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show provides crucial funding for research, medical care, education and advocacy benefiting people with Down syndrome, especially in the emerging field of research into the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. Because Down syndrome is among the least-funded genetic conditions by the National Institutes of Health, research and medical care rely heavily on private funding.
The Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show is the single-largest annual fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome.
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 has the primary focus of supporting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the U.S. 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 benefiting people with Down syndrome. Programmatically the foundation organizes and funds many programs and conferences, including the Dare to Play Football and Cheer Camps, the Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and the Dare to Play Soccer Camps. 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 in Aurora, the Crnic Institute includes the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at 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.
About the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome
The mission of the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome is to provide the best medical care to children with Down syndrome regardless of race, gender, medical condition or socioeconomic status, and as a supplement to primary care. The Sie Center is headquartered on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado and is the clinical care center under the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. The Linda Crnic Institute is the first organization in the U.S. with the mission to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome through basic and clinical research and through clinical care.