Global Down Syndrome Foundation Breaks Record by Raising $1.9 Million
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DENVER (Oct. 29, 2014) – A record $1.9 million was raised at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show on Saturday, Oct. 25. Power celebrities Jamie Foxx, Alec Baldwin, Helen Hunt, Laura Dern, John C. McGinley and Beverly Johnson showed up to escort models with Down syndrome in the fashion show and to support Global’s research and medical care initiatives.
On the red carpet, Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin said, “You know anything that can help educate society about how people with Down syndrome not only want but deserve to have a normal life, being included in everything, whether it’s educational, or cultural, or athletic – that’s the thing that interests me the most.”
Oscar- and Emmy-winner Helen Hunt echoed Baldwin’s sentiment: “This is about equality for people with Down syndrome, which is no different than equality for all people generally. I’m happy to support the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s work.”
“Well, the foundation’s incredible,” said Oscar nominee Laura Dern. “I’ve been learning a lot about the extraordinary research that’s being done here, and given Down syndrome is the least-funded genetic condition in our country, I feel great to support it and spread the word.”
“I believe that it’s every person’s right to live to their full potential, and that’s what I want for Natalie and that’s what I want for all people with Down syndrome,” said supermodel and Global international spokesperson Beverly Johnson, whose niece Natalie Fuller has Down syndrome.
“I can’t say enough good things about the Global Down Syndrome Foundation,” said award-winning actor John C. McGinley. “My son Max was born with Down syndrome 17 years ago, and so I’m Max’s advocate, I’m the guy who’s going to move the meter, and so if I’m going to do it for Max, I might as well do it for everybody else in the boat, and that’s why I’m here.”
The Denver event was sold out at 1,200 attendees and raised critical funds for research at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome on the Anschutz Medical Campus and for the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado. At the event, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation also unveiled the first national publication dedicated to people with Down syndrome and their families – Down Syndrome World™ magazine. The inaugural cover features Jamie Foxx, and Foxx’s sister and Global ambassador, DeOndra Dixon.
“What Anna and John Sie are doing for people with Down syndrome, including my sister DeOndra, is just amazing,” said Oscar- and Grammy-winner Jamie Foxx. “You know DeOndra doesn’t think of herself as different, she’s the same as you or me, and that’s what this foundation is all about. Everyone can support Global because at this foundation everyone counts.”
At the event, Global honored supermodel Beverly Johnson and self-advocate golfer Brad Hennefer with the 2014 Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awards. John C. McGinley, Global’s International Spokesman, presented the award to Johnson, while Jamie Foxx and his sister and inaugural recipient DeOndra Dixon presented the award to Hennefer.
The event also featured Ambassador Steven Dulcie of Texas, one of 17 models with Down syndrome who walked the runway with celebrities, including Jamie Foxx, Alec Baldwin, Helen Hunt, Laura Dern, John C. McGinley, pro golfer David Duval, Denver Nuggets stars Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee and Arron Afflalo, Denver Broncos stars Britton Colquitt, Ben Garland, Malik Jackson and Brandon McManus, Miss Colorado Stacey Cook, and Denver Broncos Cheerleaders.
“We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support this year” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “On behalf of the thousands of families we serve, I can’t thank my staff, our volunteers and our supporters enough.”
The event’s live auction raised over $370,000, with exclusive offerings such as Hyde Park Jewelers’ Vacheron Constantin package, a VIP trip to the 2015 Super Bowl, a painting by world-renowned impressionist Eva Makk, and an Exclusive Resorts vacation. During the event, Whitten announced a $100,000 matching donation by The Salah Foundation for programs benefiting adults with Down syndrome.
The money raised at the 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. The Leadership Circle supporting the event includes Anna & John J. Sie, Deedra & Jeff Dulcie, The Anschutz Foundation, Laura Barton & William Matthews, Sharon Magness Blake & Ernie Blake, Noreen Salah Burpee / Fred Churbuck / Megan Fearnow, The Fries Foundation, Cookie Gold, Jules Haimovitz, Susan, Randy & Greg Karsh, Peter Kudla, Jimmy & Debbie Lustig, Jack & Pat McDonnell, Larry & Carol Mizel, Brandon & Jackie Perry, Casey & Brett Perry, Shereen & Michael Pollak, Ricki & David Rest, Donald & Susan Sturm, Leslie & Bill Vollbracht.
The 2014 Event Chairs include Sharon Magness Blake & Ernie Blake, Ricki Rest, Edie Marks, Streeter McClure, Dominic Capuano, Kay Burke, Nancy Sevo, Jay Mills, and Tomago Collins.
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, Global 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. Global organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show — the single-largest annual fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome. Programmatically Global 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. Global 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.