Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s Hallmark Fundraiser “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show” Wins Big at ICON Awards

Global collects four ICONs, including Best Overall Event in Denver

DENVER (March 7, 2013) – The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s hallmark fundraiser and inspiring awareness-builder, the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, won big at the ICON Awards held at the Grand Hyatt Denver Hotel on March 1, garnering four ICONs, including the People’s Choice Best Overall Event over $75,000. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s fashion show also received People’s Choice honors for Best Invitation, Best Entertainment Concept and Execution, and Best Social Event Produced for a Nonprofit.

The ICON Awards recognize event excellence in Colorado and were established by Terry Vitale in 2000 as a celebration of the event trade in Colorado. One of Vitale’s publications, Colorado Expression Magazine, organizes the national panel of judges and the ICON Award gala every year. This is the third consecutive year for the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show to receive an ICON Award for Best Overall Event.

“We are so grateful to the judges and to our professional community for acknowledging our hard work and the unique event Global is able to produce each year. Our ICON Awards are really a testament to our models with Down syndrome who can rock your world and inspire you to be better people all in one night,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “The ICON Awards are also meaningful as a testament to my hardworking staff and the amazing Event Committee and volunteers we have. At the end of the day, we couldn’t be more thankful for being recognized for raising awareness and critical, sometimes lifesaving funds for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome.”

The Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show is the largest single annual fundraising event for people with Down syndrome. It benefits the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado, the first academic home for Down syndrome research in the United States.

Global’s 2011 fashion show, which received this year’s ICON Award, raised more than $1.4 million and was attended by over 1,200 people. The event honored Global Down Syndrome Foundation Ambassador DeOndra Dixon, and Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award recipients John C. McGinley (award-winning actor and Global spokesman) and Sujeet Desai (self-advocate and musician). The night included special appearances by music icon Quincy Jones and a dance-off between musician and Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx and his sister DeOndra, as well as a fashion show featuring models with Down syndrome.

In 2013, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation is hosting the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. To sign up for this year’s fashion show or to view photos and learn more, go to www.BeBeautifulBeYourself.org.

About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation
The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit 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’s primary focus is to support 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 Soccer Camps, Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camps, Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and Global Down Syndrome Multi-Language Resource Project. 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 at 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.

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