Archive for January 29th, 2018

Dance the Night Away

January 29th, 2018 by Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Shane Beard wants everyone to feel the love through music — so much so that he even named his DJ business The Love DJ.

“I always knew I wanted to be a DJ, since I was 11 years old,” Beard said. “I started to look up things about the music I liked, and then my mom kept searching for classes to train me.”

The search paid off when Beard’s mom, Carla Ellis, discovered the Global DJ Academy* in Denver and Walt White, the man who became Beard’s mentor.

“It has meant so much to him to play music. He is so proud of himself and feels he has his own career path now, something he enjoys and is good at,” Ellis said. “What I like best about being a DJ is letting the people have a great time and watching them have fun and feel the love,” Beard said.

With a website and YouTube channel in the works, Beard strives to share his positive message and has lined up other DJ gigs, including one with his church. And if you want to know if it’s Beard behind the turntables, just look for his trademark hat.

“I always wear a fedora when I DJ,” he said. “It makes me feel special.” 

I Love You Dance Parties

Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s I Love You Dance Parties provide the perfect place for adults with Down syndrome to kick up their heels, lift their spirits, and raise awareness.

Whether a person has twinkle toes or two left feet, Global’s I Love You Dance Parties embrace everyone. Designed to provide a real-life, age-appropriate experience for adults with Down syndrome and their friends and families, the events deliver a wealth of benefits to the community — promoting independence, exercise, and social interaction.

“They help me to get out of the house and see my friends that I don’t always see,” said self-advocate Rachel Greenlaw.


“This is a place where self-advocates can get out and get moving. They’re not sitting and watching TV, and most of our folks love music and dance,” said Dennis McGuire, Ph.D., Senior Consultant at Global and a behavioral expert with more than 30 years of experience in mental health and developmental disabilities. “Having something to look forward to, to go out and not be stuck at home where you’re more likely to be depressed or just not enthusiastic about life, is vitally important.”

Beth Burczyk has attended 12 dance parties so far and likes the mature, elegant bar atmosphere that includes the option to enjoy a single cocktail or a “mocktail.”

“It’s fun and adult,” Burczyk said. “Going makes me feel comfortable and confident that I can do things like this and that it’s OK.”

“The events are very positive and upscale,” added Burczyk’s mother, Laura. “Global provides a safe environment, and the dances are always fun.”

A generous grant from The Salah Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations that strengthen families and communities, helps fund the events. Held quarterly in downtown Denver and hosted by a celebrity emcee, the parties have attracted as many as 150 people per event and help fill the striking social void that can develop after schooling ends.

The parties also present ample opportunity for adults with Down syndrome to advocate for themselves, for example, by coordinating their transportation, paying with money they’ve earned, or making sure they are served what they ordered.

“It gives Rachel a positive feeling of independence,” said Greenlaw’s mother, Diane. “Even though there are chaperones at the dances, the chaperones include themselves as friends and dance, too.”

For self-advocate and DJ Shane Beard, the dance parties turned into a chance to showcase his talent and love of music. After attending several events, he recently took to the turntables to entertain the crowd at both the 2016 Hollywood Ball and the December I Love You Dance Party.

“DJing the dance parties has helped me share with people the music that speaks to the heart and helps people feel special,” Beard said. “That makes me proud to see everyone happy.”


This article was published in the award-winning Down Syndrome World™ magazine. Become a member to read all the articles and get future issues delivered to your door!


“The events are critical to their sense of self-worth, feeling included and excited about their journey as adults,” added Beard’s mom, Carla Ellis, who attends with him. “It’s pure joy, with loads of laughter. It’s always an experience for everyone — parents, caregivers, friends, self-advocates, all on the dance floor, just letting loose and having fun.”

The aim to keep participation balanced between self-advocates and the typical population ultimately serves a long-term goal of building strong friendships and relationships that change the way people perceive individuals with Down syndrome. Plus, having planned activities does more than simply fill an evening, according to Dr. McGuire.

“Our guys love schedules, and when they have one, all of a sudden they’re involved in the world, dancing, doing activities,” Dr. McGuire said. “They have a sense of control and participation in things. It changes their sense of themselves in so many positive ways.”

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Join our Dare to Ride Team at the 2019 Courage Classic

January 29th, 2018 by Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Join the Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Dare to Ride Team for the 2019 Courage Classic bike tour today! The Courage Classic is a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Dare to Ride Team will be designating its funds to the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at the hospital. Whether you are a recreational biker or a seasoned race pro, the Courage Classic has a course for you! Bike the 10-mile route on Saturday, the 160-mile full route over two days, or select one of the many options in between. All routes start at Copper Mountain Resort, 75 miles west of Denver in beautiful Summit County.

The details: spend July 20th & 21st in Copper Mountain!

For all race logistics, click here to visit the Courage Classic site.

Why should YOU ride with Global?

Here are some of the many perks of becoming a Global Rider:

  • Support Life-Saving Medical Care. Raise $50k to benefit the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, which is the fastest growing medical care center for individuals with Down syndrome.
  • Online Fundraising and Communication Tools. With Global, you’ll receive your own personal fundraising page that you can customize and share. Donors can show their support by making a gift online or by mailing a check.
  • Sense of Community. Any skill level is welcome to join! Routes range from
    a 10-mile family ride to a tougher 84-mile route, but group training rides will prepare you to tackle it all!
  • Supportive Staff. Our team is commited to supporting your fundraising goals, so don’t let the $500 minimum deter you. We will host meetings to check in and brainstorm ideas..
  • Team Swag & Celebration Party. For a low registration fee of $100 (before May 1st),
    you will provide life-saving and life-changing medical care to children with Down syndrome.
  • Get Started Changing Lives. Because there’s nothing like cool gear and a cold beer to make that last minute mile seem just a little less impossible.

Ready to sign up? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Register on the Dare to Ride Team page to ensure that all funds raised support the Sie Center.

2. Set up your personal fundraising page. After you register, you can set up your own personal fundraising page, complete with a photo, a personal message and more!

3. Wait for an email from Global. A Global staff member will reach out to you with information about the child you are riding for, and invitation to join our private team Facebook group and a fundraising toolkit to help you get started.

If you have any questions, please contact or 720-548-5619.

Together we can reach our Dare to Ride Team goal of raising $50,000!


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